THE CURRENT ESTIMATED NUMBER OF APPLICANTS PROCESSED THROUGHOUT CALIFORNIA IS 1.3 MILLION
As of January 1, 1998 two legislative bills, AB1610 and AB1612, require personnel in school districts working close to children be fingerprint checked prior to employment. A companion bill, SB1302, added persons covered by the Department of Social Services be fingerprinted and record checked.
To accomplish this goal, an already established process in law enforcement was employed. Basically, the process is photographing the necessary information of a fingerprint and transmitting the images/information to the Department of Justice for an automated search. The results are reported back to the appointing authority via the internet, facsimile, or mail.
The State Sheriff's Association asked to be the group to implement the program. The Sheriff's Association saw a public enforcement issue of trying to see each child as a citizen of the County and a participant in many public and private programs within the County. Law enforcement needed to see the child not only as a pupil in school, but as walking to and from school, as playing in the parks and attending the Parks and Recreations' summer programs, as attending churches in the community, as participating in a number of private not-for-profit sports and private not-for-profit social clubs for children, and as a client/participant in the Department of Social Services' programs. All of the adult persons working with children in these areas CAN or MUST be criminal record checked by fingerprints prior to actually being involved with children.
Law enforcement has one source of information for parents -- the Megan's Law website. Although the Megan's Law information has been questioned in a recent audit, the most current information is available for viewing at Headquarters, West Valley or South County Sheriff's offices during normal business hours.
Sponsored by the Sheriff, Santa Clara County law enforcement also started the S.A.F.E. (Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement) task force for tracking sexual offenders and enforcing registration requirements of persons convicted of certain sex offenses.
Now, the electronic transmission of fingerprints allows another avenue of restricting access of certain criminal offenders to minors. Public agencies as well as private agencies, are required or can require employees to be criminal fingerprint checked. The Sheriff's Department has agreed to participate in this program.
Current legislation indicates that all applicant fingerprints submitted to California Department of Justice must be electronically by the year 2005. Santa Clara County was one of the first counties participating in the all-electronic fingerprint submissions since June 1998.
INFORMATION ABOUT EMPLOYERS BECOMING AN ELECTRONIC APPLICANT AGENCY.