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Credentialing Decisions and Criminal Records: A Narrative Approach

Evidence of rehabilitation and that the crime was an anomaly are the two factors most relied on by administrative law judges when deciding whether to grant licensure to people with criminal records. Reviewing the court decisions on a study of 50 applicants for armed security guard licensure in New York state who were initially denied due to a criminal record, but appealed the decision, the researchers were surprised by how many judges approved licensure, and the variety of criminal records they approved, including violent convictions. They also found significant that the decisions are made through an evaluation of behavior rather than a formal criminological risk assessment.

Denver, M., & Ewald, A. (2018). Credentialing Decisions and Criminal Records: A Narrative Approach*. Criminology, 56(4), 715–749.


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