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Home > For State Government > eGov Applications > Success Stories > Public Criminal Records

Success Stories - Public Criminal Records

Department of Public Safety, State Bureau of Investigation

URL: http://www.informe.org/PCR/

The Public Criminal Record request service is a web-based information delivery application which allows government agencies, businesses, employers, and individuals to request public criminal records related to criminal history information for offenses committed in the State of Maine.

The Maine Public Criminal Record search is unique in that the time savings to the user is remarkable. Prior to launching this service there was a lag time in obtaining a public criminal record anywhere from 8 months up to 2 years. The Department of Public Safety's goal was to reduce this delay to less than two weeks. Today, the application returns the majority of applications within hours and all are returned within 10 days. Giving governmental entities, individuals, businesses and employees the convenience of requesting a record 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week is why the service is so successful and continues to grow.

Anne Head, the Director of the Office of Licensing and Registrations within the Department of Professional and Financial Regulation says, "Due to the speed in which we receive the criminal background history, our staff has greatly reduced the time it takes to process our initial applications for licensure."

As a result of the performance of the service, the Maine State Police has experienced a sharp and continuing increase in record requests since launch. Customer satisfaction has been substantial because the time in receiving a record has decreased tremendously. The Department has seen an impressive 80% increase in volume with public requests since launching the application.

The Director of the State Bureau of Identification, Ruth Lunn, states, "The Public Criminal Record application has more than exceeded our expectations! By offering this service on the web, it accelerates the State Bureau of Identification processing time. The substantial gain in staff time is now used to help meet additional agency priorities."

Agency benefits include:

  • Dual efficiencies! The system is also used by Maine State Police to streamline their internal process by being able to retrieve and print both written and in-person requests. This enables staff to deliver paper-based responses more quickly and efficiently.
  • Daily workload reduced! Daily demand increases significantly at the start of the school year and during the retail holiday season, thus demanding agency overtime to fulfill requests.
  • Agency Success! Within the first month of service launch, 15% of public criminal requests were made through the online service. Today the adoption rate is 80%! Average online transactions exceed 10,100 per month during the retail holiday season for businesses shows that the convenience of requesting a record 24 hours a day/7 days a week is why the service is so successful and continues to grow.

Constituent benefits include:

  • Customers save money! In-state users may take advantage of discounted charges by choosing to become an InforME subscriber. A resident subscriber is charged a $15 per record fee while out-of-state subscribers and credit card users pay $25 per record. Government entities may be eligible for fee-exempt use for non-criminal justice, non-licensing purposes.
  • Hire staff more quickly! Maine law requires fingerprint-based criminal history checks on all school employees. With electronic delivery, Maine school systems have the increased ability to hire much needed teachers and staff easier.
  • Customer satisfaction! Feedback from the service has been quite positive! Here is what some users had to say:
    • "This service is just wonderful! I needed to have a criminal record check done for my new employer who is an Irish organization. They had told me that I should start the process as soon as possible since it might take four weeks. They are going to be SO surprised when I tell them I can have it within HOURS, not weeks! Thank you ever so much!”
    •   “This is SO MUCH better than the 10 week wait last year. Thank you for making this much faster and user friendly.”  
    • “I just wanted to say that your site is very well organized. It is not cluttered and has everything it needs. Nice work (from a former webmaster and IT Director).”  
    • “How you can improve this service is, in my view, simple: keep doing what you're doing. I am happy that I can get a history check back by E-mail within a matter of hours or days. The more difficult checks that are done by hand are coming back faster than before. I am very happy with this service and thank you for your wonderful efforts."