Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 37.2. Behavioral Health and Developmental Services
Chapter 3. Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services
10/22/2020

§ 37.2-314. Background check required.

A. As a condition of employment, the Department shall require any applicant who (i) accepts a position of employment at a state facility and was not employed by that state facility prior to July 1, 1996, or (ii) accepts a position with the Department that receives, monitors, or disburses funds of the Commonwealth and was not employed by the Department prior to July 1, 1996, to submit to fingerprinting and provide personal descriptive information to be forwarded along with the applicant's fingerprints through the Central Criminal Records Exchange to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for the purpose of obtaining national criminal history record information regarding the applicant.

B. For purposes of clause (i) of subsection A, the Department shall not hire for compensated employment persons who have been convicted of (i) any offense set forth in clause (i), (ii), or (iii) of the definition of barrier crime in § 19.2-392.02 or (ii) any offense set forth in clause (iv) of the definition of barrier crime in § 19.2-392.02 (a) in the five years prior to the application date for employment or (b) if such person continues on probation or parole or has failed to pay required court costs for such offense set forth in clause (iv) of the definition of barrier crime in § 19.2-392.02.

C. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection B, the Department may hire for compensated employment at an adult substance abuse or adult mental health treatment program a person who was convicted of any violation of § 18.2-51.3; any misdemeanor violation of § 18.2-56 or 18.2-56.1 or subsection A of § 18.2-57; any first offense misdemeanor violation of § 18.2-57.2; any violation of § 18.2-60, 18.2-89, 18.2-92, or 18.2-94; any misdemeanor violation of § 18.2-282 or 18.2-346; any offense set forth in clause (iii) of the definition of barrier crime in § 19.2-392.02, except an offense pursuant to subsection H1 or H2 of § 18.2-248; or any substantially similar offense under the laws of another jurisdiction, if the Department determines, based upon a screening assessment, that the criminal behavior was substantially related to the applicant's substance abuse or mental illness and that the person has been successfully rehabilitated and is not a risk to individuals receiving services based on his criminal history background and his substance abuse or mental illness history.

D. The Department and a screening contractor designated by the Department shall screen applicants who meet the criteria set forth in subsection C to assess whether the applicants have been rehabilitated successfully and are not a risk to individuals receiving services based on their criminal history backgrounds and substance abuse or mental illness histories. To be eligible for such screening, the applicant shall have completed all prison or jail terms; shall not be under probation or parole supervision; shall have no pending charges in any locality; shall have paid all fines, restitution, and court costs for any prior convictions; and shall have been free of parole or probation for at least five years for all convictions. In addition to any supplementary information the Department or screening contractor may require or the applicant may wish to present, the applicant shall provide to the screening contractor a statement from his most recent probation or parole officer, if any, outlining his period of supervision and a copy of any pre-sentencing or post-sentencing report in connection with the felony conviction. The cost of this screening shall be paid by the applicant, unless the Department decides to pay the cost.

E. The Central Criminal Records Exchange, upon receipt of an applicant's record or notification that no record exists, shall submit a report to the state facility or to the Department. If an applicant is denied employment because of information appearing on his criminal history record and the applicant disputes the information upon which the denial was based, the Central Criminal Records Exchange shall, upon written request, furnish to the applicant the procedures for obtaining a copy of the criminal history record from the FBI. The information provided to the state facility or Department shall not be disseminated except as provided in this section.

F. Those applicants listed in clause (i) of subsection A also shall provide to the state facility or Department a copy of information from the central registry maintained pursuant to § 63.2-1515 on any investigation of child abuse or neglect undertaken on them.

G. The Board may adopt regulations to comply with the provisions of this section. Copies of any information received by the state facility or Department pursuant to this section shall be available to the Department and to the applicable state facility but shall not be disseminated further, except as permitted by state or federal law. The cost of obtaining the criminal history record and the central registry information shall be borne by the applicant, unless the Department or state facility decides to pay the cost.

1996, cc. 881, 927, § 37.1-20.3; 1999, c. 685; 2005, c. 716; 2012, cc. 383, 476, 507; 2017, c. 809; 2020, c. 1092.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.