ICHAT system misses criminal history
A Fulton School District volunteer basketball coach was discovered to have two previous disorderly person/window peeping charges and one for disturbing the peace that did not show up on his background check. However, these previous offenses did not come to light until the coach, 40-year-old Jamee Cassady, was arrested this past month for allegedly setting up a video camera to capture footage of a teenage girl in her home.
Cassady had two previous misdemeanor convictions which were punishable by 90 days and therefore, did not come up in his background screening which was conducted through ICHAT (Internet Criminal History Access Tool). Due to the dangerous restrictions of ICHAT, ONLY serious misdemeanors and felonies that are punishable by a period of 93 days or more will show up in the system. Prosecutors, law enforcement agencies and courts in Michigan are not required to report offenses that fall under the 90 day time period.
Since 2005, SSCI has been involved in educating the Michigan Parks and Recreation Association about the dangerous loopholes in the ICHAT system. Performing sessions in 2005, 2009 and 2010, SSCI began providing information to the MRPA agencies about the restrictions of the ICHAT system. In addition to the pitfall listed above, below are additional ICHAT drawbacks:
- Cases that have been reported to the database as being closed without a conviction or juvenile adjudication will NOT be reported by ICHAT. Suppressed records, warrant information, federal records, tribal records, and criminal histories from other states are not available through ICHAT.
- I-CHAT will report on open arrest cases if the arrest is less than 1 year prior to the date of search.