The media person inside me is pretty damn excited about it, because it means I can plug in the name of anyone I'm writing about just to see if they might have a criminal record - and hey, that's kind of cool when you're in the business of scrounging up information on people. It also makes it a heck of a lot easier for people who have to do criminal-record checks on volunteers, as it ends that slow business of having to go to the police station and wait (not to mention pay money in some cases).
But the social-advocate side of me is thinking whoa, this is wild. Can't you see every employer in the city wanting to run every staff member's name to see if they have a criminal record? Is that good?
The initiative appears to have emerged with virtually no media attention - I found out only because a friend in the social-services sector sent me the link. It's being done in the name of transparency, but I just don't know if it's good to remove all transparency around someone's criminal record. Traffic violations are now public, too.
It's certainly going to make it more difficult to "put it all behind you." It could make it very difficult for people who commit comparably minor crimes to get a job, regardless of whether their crime has anything to do with the kind of work they were trying for.
Just found out this came about in the fall due to a series done by TC reporter Lindsay Kines. I'm a fan of Lindsay's work, but still not quite sure how to feel about this new freedom.