Child Welfare Services Hired a Convicted Murderer Revealing Gaps in Background Checks

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Child Welfare Services Hired a Convicted Murderer Revealing Gaps in Background Checks

Recently it was discovered that an employee hired by Hawaii’s Child Welfare Services had served a sentence in prison for murder in another state. Because this person was able to get a background check and still get hired, advocates of those who have suffered from domestic violence believe the hiring process needs to change.

Justin Boulay strangled his girlfriend to death with a telephone cord in 1998 when he was 20 years old. He was sentenced to 24 years in prison but was released on parole after 12 years. He moved to Hawaii in 2010 with the woman he’d married in prison. 

Boulay did not have any more trouble with the law beyond minor traffic violations. Then, in 2019, the Child Welfare Services division of the state Department of Human Services hired Boulay. They did a background check, but their background checks only go back for 10 years, and they are local.

Unfortunately, even though the Department of Human Services serves vulnerable people, new applicants don’t need to undergo a background check that involves a nationwide search. Nanci Kreidman, who works for the Domestic Violence Action Center believes this should change and that the background checks should cover a lifetime and involve a nationwide search.

In all positions a properly performed pre-employment screening is critical. However, with positions that work with vulnerable populations, it is a necessity.