BASIC (09-05)

GN 03312.005 Disclosure for Criminal Law Enforcement Purposes Involving Violent Crimes

A. Policy – Violent Crimes

1. Description of Violent Crimes

Violent crimes are serious crimes which are characterized by the use of physical force or by the threat of physical force. The force may:

  • cause actual injury, or

  • coerce the victim to an action because of real fear of suffering serious bodily injury.

2. Circumstances Under Which Disclosure May Be Made for a Violent Crime

Disclosure may be made for criminal law enforcement purposes involving violent crimes where a valid written request has been received (see GN 03312.040) which indicates:

  • a violent crime has been committed (see GN 03312.005A.3.), and

  • the individual about whom the information is being sought has been indicted for or convicted of that crime, and

  • the penalty upon conviction is incarceration for at least one year and a day regardless of the sentence imposed.

IMPORTANT: When a person violates parole, we can release information if the violent crime provisions are met for the original conviction.

NOTE: See GN 03312.050 and GN 03312.060 for the policy and procedures that apply to certain requests involving serious crimes where the individual about whom information is sought has not been indicted or convicted.

3. Examples of Violent Crimes

Violent crimes include, but are not limited to:

  • murder;

  • rape;

  • kidnapping;

  • armed robbery;

  • burglary of a dwelling;

  • arson;

  • drug trafficking/drug possession with intent to manufacture, import, export, distribute or dispense;

  • hijacking;

  • car-jacking; and

  • terrorism

4. When Disclosure is Not Proper

The following types of requests normally do not meet SSA’s criteria for disclosure for a law enforcement purpose:

  • requests for information concerning an individual who is only the suspect of a crime.

  • requests involving non-violent crimes such as embezzlement, and shoplifting.

EXCEPTION: If the request indicates that the criminal activity being pursued may involve a Social Security program, e.g., misuse of a Social Security number, disclosure of some relevant information may be appropriate (see GN 03312.010A.2.) SSA, not the requester, determines the relevancy of the requested information to the criminal activity.

5. What May Be Disclosed

See GN 03312.035 for a discussion of the types of information that may be disclosed when SSA determines that the requested information is relevant to the alleged criminal activity.

B. Procedure

See GN 03312.001E.

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GN 03312.005 - Disclosure for Criminal Law Enforcement Purposes Involving Violent Crimes - 09/12/2005
Batch run: 01/27/2009