41. Civilian Records

Every single person existing within the United States (including citizens, immigrants, visitors of at least 72 hours, etc.) should be required by law to have a Civilian Records file with the government that includes their fingerprints, DNA samples, photographs (including face, obvious tattoos or other unique features such as missing limbs or fingers, etc.), and possibly other unique information. It should be required that this information, including photos and any other unique identifying characteristics like tattoos, missing limbs or fingers, etc., be updated when needed, but at least every 5 years. Also, information like the names of extended family members, job information, and other relevant personal data which may be useful to law enforcement agencies should be collected, especially for use during times of emergency. This information would be placed in a nationwide database and used primarily to aid police and investigators in solving crimes.

In addition, every single person should also have, as part of their Civilian Records file, a record of every legal infraction, regardless of how big or small, committed by that individual anywhere on the planet. This record would include everything from traffic violations (including parking tickets, speeding tickets, etc.), thefts, assaults, murder, fraud, littering, and every other instance of legal noncompliance. The mere passage of time should not be able to expunge any entries from such a record. Only false accusations should be expunged from the record. False convictions should be noted. If a person has no history of even one lawbreaking activity, then his/her criminal section of their Civilian Records file would naturally be empty.

The country in which an individual is currently visiting should be entitled to the complete Civilian Records file of that individual, from birth, even if the visit is for as short as 72 hours.

These detailed records should be kept confidential and access limited to only the entitled law enforcement agencies. However, once these records have been filtered of any data that can potentially be used to identify an individual, such data may be made available for purchase on the free market, especially for use in data mining research operations. The types of data that could be filtered out of these records before they are released to the public should include some or all of the following: the criminal’s name, specific date of birth, photos, fingerprints, DNA samples, specific location of past or present residences, specific date, time and location of a criminal or legally non-compliant offense, or any other information that may create a significant possibility of the individual being identified.

Conceivably, some data filtered out for purposes of one study could be included for another study. Nevertheless, as long as identifying information is removed, and cross referencing could not reconstruct individual records, the rest of the data could be released.

Certain private individuals may have a good reason for obtaining access to a partial or full disclosure of an individual’s Civilian Record. Examples include, potential or current employers (checking their employees), co-workers who spend a large amount of time working with the person in question, parents (checking on personnel providing childcare), a spouse or immediate family member, and other people with similarly compelling reasons.

Perhaps two or three different levels of access could be allowed. Level 1 access may allow an individual to view the part of a person’s record that discloses only serious criminal offenses like burglary, assault, rape, murder, etc. Such information like social security numbers, or other extra sensitive information may be excluded from such reports. Level 2 may be more expansive, while Level 3 may be the entire, unfiltered Civil Conduct Record for an individual. So, if an employer wants to check up on a potential employee, the employer may ask for Level 1 access to so-and-so’s Civilian Record. This should provide the employer with enough information to make an adequate assessment concerning the potential employee’s criminal life. The government would need to approve the level of access for each of the petitions submitted by inquiring entities.

The actual subject of a Civilian Record would have the sole authority to authorize any stated employer free temporary access to their own records (such as for a background check by a potential employer). The courts could overrule the Civilian Record subject’s objection to a particular party accessing his records. The courts could also, with sufficient justification, allow entities (notably, law enforcement) access to such records without the subject’s knowledge.

Information in these records should not be altered or removed merely because of the jurisdiction in which these records are viewed. For example, people’s criminal records cannot be changed simply because the individual has moved into a different jurisdiction. Likewise, a person cannot escape punishment for a crime merely because he fled to another jurisdiction. In other words, a person will carry his same record with him regardless of where on the planet he goes.

Access to these records should be allowed only under close supervision by law enforcement authorities. Only handwritten notes can be taken during the viewing of such records, but no limits should be placed on the type or amount of information that can be written. No photocopying, photographing or any other comparable methods of reproduction should be allowed. All notes taken should be required to be treated with confidentiality and require to be viewed by people granted the same level of access and should be destroyed when no longer needed.

The immediate release of an individual’s partial or full Civilian Record should be authorized if such a release would potentially significantly benefit the public, such as potentially help mitigate a public uprising or outrage (such as against the police). Sometimes such records would demonstrate a pattern of non-compliance or criminal behavior, the knowledge of which may benefit and quell the public.

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