Saturday, November 18, 2006

Just a Dog Catcher...

Almost every job that you apply for these days involves some type of criminal background check. Health care leads the industry by actually fingerprinting all applicants. In our high-tech world in which a person's actual identity can be stolen, I think knowing if you are hiring a convicted felon is relevant information... particularly if you working for state or local government.

I am a bit peeved at Mayor Hudson's recent defense of the city employee whose criminal past was exposed. She actually defended the city's policy of not screening applicant's criminal histories, stating that, "everyone deserves a second chance." Okay, I can agree with that, but what about the hundreds of law abiding citizens who are seeking jobs in Greenville that haven't had the first chance, let alone served time?

I think that the mayor's "head in the sand" approach to this issue is dangerous. Any employer who requires drug screens and criminal histories knows that there is a large population of undesirables in our fair city. For our city leaders to ignore this fact puts us all at great risk.

I once asked the leader of one of the biggest employers in Greenville why his organization did not conduct random drugs screens on employees. His response was that he would probably lose a third of his current staff. Duhhhh?

Should convicted criminals be given a "second chance"? Sure, right after all non-criminals have been eliminated as viable candidates for those jobs. I think you went a little too far left on this one, Heather.


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