New York Senator wants camps to have access to FBI background checks

summer-camp-signSen. Charles Schumer (NY) is pushing for legislation to open up the FBI’s sexual-offender and criminal databases so that organizations that employ counselors can conduct thorough background checks. Under current law, camps, charitable organizations and other employers of staff interacting with children are limited to New York state’s criminal recordkeeping. So a prospective employee with a record of abuse in another state would fly under the radar. About a third of the states allow youth-serving organizations to access the FBI’s extensive offender databases, but New York is not one of them, Schumer said. His bipartisan proposal, Child Protection Improvements and Electronic Life and Safety Security Systems Act of 2015 would assure access for all such groups to FBI files through mechanisms such as a Justice Department 800 number. “Parents deserve the peace of mind knowing that their children are in good hands when they drop them off at camp and other afterschool programs,’’ Schumer said. According to N.Y. York State Department of Criminal Justice Service figures cited by Schumer, there are 16,758 registered sex offenders in upstate New York, with 2,548 of them in the Capital Region.]]>

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