§ 16-2-18.1. Criminal records review.
(a) Any person seeking employment with a private school or public school department who has not previously been employed by a private school or public school department in Rhode Island during the past twelve (12) months shall undergo a national and state criminal background check to be initiated prior to, or within one week of, employment after receiving a conditional offer of employment; provided, however, that employees hired prior to August 1, 2001, and or who have been continuously employed by a public school department in Rhode Island during the past twelve (12) months shall be exempt from the requirements of this section and § 16-2-18.2.
(b) The applicant shall apply to the bureau of criminal identification (BCI), department of attorney general, state police, or local police department where they reside, for a national and state criminal records check. Fingerprinting shall be required. Upon the discovery of any disqualifying information, the bureau of criminal identification, state police or local police department will inform the applicant, in writing, of the nature of the disqualifying information; and, without disclosing the nature of the disqualifying information, will notify the employer, in writing, that disqualifying information has been discovered.
(c) An employee against whom disqualifying information has been found may request that a copy of the criminal background report be sent to the employer who shall make a judgment regarding the employment of the employee.
(d) In those situations in which no disqualifying information has been found, the bureau of criminal identification, state police, or local police department shall inform the applicant and the employer, in writing, of this fact.
(e) For purposes of this section:
(1) "Disqualifying information" means those offenses listed in §§ 23-17-37, 11-37-8.1, 11-37-8.3, 11-9-1(b), 11-9-1(c), 11-9-1.3; and
(2) "Employment" means those individuals hired directly by the private school or public school department, contractual employees of the private school or public school department, and those individuals, who may have direct or unmonitored contact with children or students, who are hired by a third party who or that has contracted with the private school or public school department to provide services.
(f) The employer shall maintain on file, subject to inspection by the department of elementary and secondary education, evidence that criminal records checks have been initiated on all employees seeking employment subsequent to July 13, 1998, and the results of the checks. The applicant shall be responsible for the costs of the national and state criminal records check.
(g) At the conclusion of the criminal background check required in this section, the attorney general, state police, or local police department shall promptly destroy the fingerprint record of the applicant obtained pursuant to this chapter.
(P.L. 1998, ch. 315, § 1; P.L. 2001, ch. 286, § 1; P.L. 2002, ch. 227, § 1; P.L. 2002, ch. 413, § 1; P.L. 2012, ch. 452, § 1; P.L. 2013, ch. 34, § 1; P.L. 2013, ch. 45, § 1; P.L. 2014, ch. 374, § 1; P.L. 2014, ch. 408, § 1.)