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cindelle

Criminal Background question?

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Our son is in our local Bear pack. Its in a very small town and has only a few children. Their Leader was sort of a last minute substitute and has given notice that she will be leaving very soon, leaving the pack without a leader. My Husband is an active parent within the group. He was recently approached to take over the Den Leaders position ( I think it was Den?). He would like to consider this however he has a blemish in his past. This is where my question comes in. 20 years ago my Husband was convicted of a non-felony charge of endangering the welfare of a child. To me that can look bad however the incident didnt involve anything violent or sexual in nature and didnt involve the use of drugs or alcohol. It was a terrible position my Husband was put in many years ago however he felt compelled to plea to this non-felony charge and be released. He was young, all alone without any family to advocate for him and thought he made the right choice at the time. He regrets all of it now. He has had no other involvement with law enforcement since the incident 20 years ago.

 

Is this just a no-brainer or would the BOA actually consider my Husbands application for this position? I'm trying to weigh his conviction vs. the length of time if occurred, it being a single incident, and being a non-felony conviction. I appreciate the feedback!

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He should fill out the application accurately, and hide nothing. 20 years is a long time ago, and he's not the only leader with "a record". The organization is bound to maintain the confidentiality of his application.

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My two cents: I'd suggest your husband talk to two people before submitting an application: the Council's Scout Executive and your Pack's Chartering Organization Representative (COR). The Scout Executive is likely the one who has to make the tough call on situations like this and he can tell you how the wind is blowing in your Council depending on your situation. Let him know the situation and he can tell you if you will be approved or not. More likely than not, he's also going to tell you that you should talk to the COR, who has to approve your application on behalf of the Pack. Best to be upfront here. Someone else here my have a different view...

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Your husband's history, although unenviable, is not a show stopper. The BSA would consider his application. Have him note it appropriately and let your Charter Organization Representative know. (He/she should be reviewing the application befor signing it anyway.)

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Thanks to all who've commented, much appreciated. He will be considering his options before making a commitment but if he decides to proceed he will most certainly disclose all information, be honest and cooperative. I think part of his hesitation is exposing this sensitive (and dated) detail about his life to our local COR, etc. This isnt known information in our community and living in such a small town, we worry about our and our childrens privacy being kept confidential. Society can be judgmental and we would hate to risk losing anything over something like this. Is this a baseless concern or is application privacy pretty rock solid in terms of confidentiality? Gossip spreads faster than wildfire sometimes....

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That being the case, he should talk with the Scout executive. Any negative results from the background check are reported to the SE. If a volunteer is disqualified, the SE sends a letter to the CO letting them know the application has been rejected, but provides no details.

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Another option is to have the non-felony charge expunged from your husband's record. Expungement is typically available for those sorts of charges in the circumstances you mentioned. I would recommend looking into that regardless of what your decision is regarding submitting his application for Den Leader.

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Sadly we were informed that this charge cannt be expunged despite being a non felony. There is a list of non-felony charges that arent expungeable and we were told his was one of them unfortunately.

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I agree, the best thing to do is talk to the CR, and the Scout Exec......they could render a decision and keep it confidential.

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I agree with the comments about it not being a showstopper, However, an endangering the welfare of child conviction might raise more flags than any other when you consider the role he'd be in. For that reason I suggest being completely up front and forthcoming about all the facts. I realize your original post was not the application, but if his application contained essentially only the same explanation as what you just wrote, I'd reject the application.

 

You focused on what the conviction wasn't - not a felony, not recent, not violent, not drug related, etc. But what was the charge? You can't leave it up to the council to trust you, write it off, and/or make some other leap of faith. You need to let them know exactly what happened and what any extenuating circumstances might be. Then let them make the determination of whether or not it's serious enough to be a conern.

 

If I was evaluating based on what was presented above, I couldn't in good conscience approve it. However it doesn't mean I wouldn't approve it with more info. For example, if you husband was just a full of himself 19 year old who punched a 15 year old for leaning on his car, then I chalk it up to the stupidity of youth and approve.

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In my state, there is the criminal database, and the CPS database--they are not the same and someone can be in one and not the other. I ran background checks on the CPS system for a while (crummiest job ever), and I don't know about your state and/or criminal databases, but at 20 years your husband's issue would've been seen by me, his form sent to my supervisor, and then sent back to me with a note that it was beyond the time limit and was not to be sent to the requesting entity (school, daycare, what-have-you).

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... at 20 years ...

 

So from what I understand, in two more years, the criminal background reports will no longer show that I voted for Ross Perot twice ???

 

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