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Americans With Disabilities Act and Criminal Justice: Hiring New Employees

NCJ Number
Date Published
7 pages
Publication Series
The implications of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on the criminal justice system are explored.
The requirements of the ADA have significant consequences for the hiring process in the criminal justice system. Many of the tests and screening devices commonly used to hire public safety personnel, as well as the order in which these tests may be administered, must be scrutinized in light of the ADA. This publication summarizes the ADA, providing examples of its effect on the hiring process in the criminal justice system. Hiring practices experiencing the greatest impact are the testing and screening devices which prior to the ADA were required before a job offer was made. Since the ADA prohibits disability-related inquiries prior to making a conditional offer of employment, many of these testing and screening devices must be postponed until after an offer is made. Screening devices discussed include agility tests, drug tests, polygraph tests, background checks, and medical and psychological exams. A quiz concerning those questions which could be construed as a medical inquiry (and, therefore, off-limits prior to a conditional offer of employment) is provided, accompanied by explanations of the correct answers. Footnotes

Date Published: January 1, 1994