Are Criminal Records Fair


In the UK and pretty much most countries you are given a criminal record that stays with you pretty publicly for a long time (although the severity of this depends on the offence). Many people argue the record is worse than the sentence. Is it fair that peoples lives are impacted massively after their debt to society is paid? Or perhaps is the impact not that bad?


Stop complaining, if you do the crime you should have prepared for failing.


It’s not like it’s an unkown thing, don’t commit a crime if you don’t want the record.


Are you telling me to stop complaining? Seems strange seeing as I’ve not stated my opinion on the matter. However in reply to your response, what has someone’s coping ability got to do with the moral weight of their crime and the state’s subsequent level of punishment which they are obligated to allocate fairly. It has nothing to do with the individual ‘making peace’ with his future failures.


I think its more the fact that in a liberal and democratic society people are constantly told they can do anything they want to with enough hard work. That they should get up and keep on fighting even when they’ve made bad decisions and that society allows you to become the best form of yourself if you are willing. But with a record the state decides what type of person it wants you to be - so imagine you had only done science up until the end of school but you were terrible at it (Bad decision right?). How authoritarian would it be if the state then decided you could never retrain in other professions as a result of your previous bad decisions?


True but the state isn’t saying you can’t do anything. Although Im pretty sure there are laws about pedophiles in jobs that involve children (on the state by state level not federal in the U.S, I think) but then again it’s a matter of choice for the business. The state isn’t saying that you can’t work in certain areas if your a felon, it’s the employer. And the employer might not want a rapist or thief for their job, if it involves intimate work with people or dealing with major amounts of money (whether that be cash/credit/ jewels/ etc etc). By providing a record, it is shown that you made a mistake, and did your time for it, now it is up to the employer to say whether or not that person can work.


In practice however the state is providing grounds for a much higher likelihood of discrimination with little justification of upholding the nations welfare. Now while I believe in the absolute right for the firm to do as they wish it must also be the absolute right of the individual to their privacy - you can’t have just one of them - this would be hypocritical. For instance it is absolutely not the right of the individual to access many private lists of any companies past ‘bad decisions’ before considering a job with them, why do companies then have the same equivalent rights to do so for individuals? In effect, the state has infringed on the individual’s freedom for one reason but has not infringed upon firm’s freedoms for the same reason. And to end off, obviously I can understand why you might have to disclose a record if it is related to pedophiles and teaching etc. But that is for the public good, if the state has deemed someone rehabilitated for general society, why on earth should their record be taken into consideration when their value as a worker is being judged?


What about imperfections in the justice system, such as false accusations or biased punishments?


Victimless crimes should not be on record though. However anything else is on you.


Who decides what is a victimless crime. In addition, I cant see why you’d make the distinction, a drug taker may kill someone due to dangerous driving while under the influence and be sentenced very harshly. However, the sentence in comparison for someone whos been stopped and charged before anything could happen while driving under the influence is going to be far less. As reason decrees these are the same people in terms of character, but fate has stopped one from acquiring a criminal record under your theory as drug taking and dangerous driving is basically victimless. How can this be fair? Seeing as the record check is to see what kind of person is potentially being employed.


Well you can find info on a firms wrongdoins, lawsuits and such. They aren’t exactly made public if they’re settled before court but generally you can find stuff such as that. Now there isn’t a system where there’s a public record for businesses, but generally it is up to the person to do their research on the business, just like its up to the business to look into and see if the person they hired is a felon. Also, while I generally support rehabilitation, people can often lie and such to say they are rehabilitated. We have the laws for a reason, and when someone decides to break them, they thereby give away the right to total privacy. Whenever a business is involved in a legal scandal it is known. It is public record. Therefore a person who breaks the law no longer has complete privacy, it will be known that you are a felon, unless you can get it removed.


Well… who wants a rapist as a intern? It is a good idea.