We have recognized that the ever increasing use of the criminal history data for licensing, employment, volunteerism, and other “non-criminal justice” purposes naturally creates a corresponding responsibility for controls over those entities. Our limited resources have prevented an adequate response to this rising need.With one out of 20 Texans in prison, on probation or parole, this improper access opens up that information about an awful lot of people. What's more, regular readers know I think Texas restricts way too many jobs based on criminal history. Every time more employers are granted access to these records for purposes of employment screening, we reduce the chance that people who've been in trouble with the law in the past can find good jobs and make a life for themselves. So expanding access to the system harms prospects for employing ex-cons as well as risking the information being used inappropriately. Obviously state law requires DPS to share this information with a lot more folks than the agency can adequately manage.
The probation tracking system at the Texas Department of Crimnal Justice has improved, the report declared. Eleven percent of probationers' records were incorrectly tracked, compared to 46 percent when the system was last checked in 2001. That said, "improvement" is relative. With more than 605,000 probationers' flagged, according to the report, an 11 percent error rate would mean errors exist in records for more than 66,500 people.