Study on Criminal Record Hits

From: Public Record Retriever Network

Study on Criminal Record Hits

on Record Searches Performed by PRRN Members

In September 2011, the Public Record Retriever Network (PRRN) conducted a survey

of its Members regarding the frequency of “hits” when performing name searches using the

criminal record index found at the courthouse. For example, if 100 different names were

searched onsite at the courthouse, on average how many of these names would reveal a

criminal record?

The study was calculated on a state basis. Two questions were posed: 1) What is your

normal average range of hits at both the high and low ends? and 2) What is your overall

average?

Of course, one must keep in mind many factors help determine a hit ratio, including these:

Instructions from the client or CRA (Consumer Reporting Agency) of how far

back to search.

If the client (CRA) asks for misdemeanor to be included in a search.

If the client (CRA) does a “pre-screen” – meaning if a name search was first

performed using an online resource (such as a statewide online source). Usually

this leads to a higher hit ratio because the researcher is asked to find and verify the

case files if identifiers are not shown on the online search.

Differences may surface from one county to the next within the same state; this is

a statewide study.

To date there have been 208 responses to the survey. Quite often the individual responses

were very similar in a given state. However, several states showed a wide discrepancy

among searches, and this is noted below.

Not all states are shown in the Table below. For consistency and accuracy, we decided

that there had to be a minimum of three member responses to list a state on the Table.

However, ALL responses were used to calculate the OVERALL National Average

shown at the bottom of the table.

Study Results

State Average Low Range High Range

AR 12.8 10 30

AZ 12.7 9 14

CA 13.9 8.6 22.4

CO 21.6 10 40

DC 15.3 9 20

DE 13.3 7 22

FL 15.2 9 19

State Average Low Range High Range

GA 9.7 7.1 17.1

HI 7.2 5 17

IL 13.7 5 25.6

IN 12.8 4 24

KS 7.2 5 7.5

LA 10.6 5 20

MA 8.6 4.5 13.25

MI 11.9 7 25

MN 13.7 8.3 22.3

MT 5.2 1 6

NC* 34.3 30.2 49.5

NH 6.6 4 12.6

NJ 8.4 6.4 13.8

NY 5.5 4.5 9.3

OH 15.2 10 17.5

OK 12.2 8 22

OR 11.4 2 15

PA 7.6 3 12

RI 10 5 12

SC* 48.8 8 90

TN 25.9 1 85

TX 14.5 1 60

VA 26.9 9 80

WI 14.1 10 25

WV 8.7 5 10

OVERALL 14.80% 10.70% 23.10%

* = Note1: NC and SC had a very wide range of “Average” hit ratios reported by record

searchers. In NC the low was 20%, the high 90%. In SC the low was 8.6% the high

93%.

Note2: There was one repsonse for Puerto Rico stating that the range was between

20% and 30%.

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