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ARKANSAS.GOV & ASP TO EXPAND ACCESS TO CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK INFORMATION:  NEW ARKANSAS LAW ALLO

July 31, 2007 (LITTLE ROCK) - Third parties and service providers, beginning today, will be able to access the Arkansas State Police Online Criminal Background Check System with the consent of the person who is the subject of the online criminal history report. State law, prior to today, has given limited access to the system for professional licensing boards and employers. A new law passed in the most recent legislative session allows the Arkansas State Police to release criminal history information to agents of employers or persons with written consent of the person who is the subject of the record. This new law will allow entities such as staffing agencies, landlords/property owners, financial institutions, background check/investigative companies and law firms to run criminal background checks on individuals with the person’s written consent. The online system offers almost instant results compared to the paper process, which could often take several weeks. The Arkansas State Police is also working with the Information Network of Arkansas to enhance the Criminal Background System to allow FBI fingerprints to be scanned electronically and transmitted through the system. Authorized agencies will receive the FBI fingerprint results within five business days instead of the more typical response period of several months. The Criminal Background Check System can be found at the state's official Web site, http://www.Arkansas.gov/criminal, and requires an INA subscription account. Since its launch in 2004, the Arkansas State Police has processed more than 280,000 searches for professional licensing boards and employers through the Criminal Background Check System.