This includes all Federal civil suits, criminal charges, as well as bankruptcies. PACER is not free, in fact they charge 10 cents per page viewed. Yes, they are using a model stuck in 20th century. The vast majority of public records about people are at the local level: city, county, and state. Arrests are usually maintained by the county sheriff, or the local police agency that booked them.
Exceptions to this occur when the arrest is made by the state police.
Records Information and Links | Integrated Criminal Justice Information System
This information is usually maintained by the county clerk where the event happened. For older information you may need to contact the state department of health or vital statistics to get access.