CRIMINALIZED PEOPLE ARE SUBJECT TO REPEATED SCRUTINY, OBSERVATION, AND ASSESSMENT.
This monitoring is carried out by police, parole and probation officers, as well as an ever-increasing number of people with no formal connection to the punishment system. Through widespread access to criminal records, many are empowered to view and judge others’ histories of contact with the criminal legal system.
The presumed need for constant review is justified through frameworks of risk management, and in the name of public safety. Often without rational basis, people with criminal records - and especially those who are also racialized - are designated as dangerous and untrustworthy.
How criminal records are stored and shared
Melissa Burch and Carolina Jones Ortiz
While most people have undergone a criminal background check, few understand how criminal records are generated, where the data are held, or how the information gets circulated and shared.