Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $615,229)
Under this award, the Utah Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice (CCJJ) will transfer funds to the Utah Department of Public Safety (DPS) to improve public safety in the state by enhancing the quality, completeness, and accessibility of criminal history record information. Grant funds are being requested to continue to research and update missing court dispositions to ensure availability through the Utah Criminal History (UCH) system and accessibility at the time of a national background check. The disposition research project builds on the success of the 1989 through 2020 research efforts that have increased the felony disposition reporting rate to over 85 percent. Additional resources are being allocated to this function to ensure that the felony reporting rate remains high. The ongoing research of missing current and historical dispositions is still needed to assure accountability from agencies and overall accuracy of the criminal history data. DPS still has the need to maintain a training program to deal with the issues leading to failed disposition reporting at both local law enforcement agencies and the courts. Disposition training and research also serves the purpose of making courts and local law enforcement agencies throughout Utah continuously aware of the importance of accurate and complete reporting of dispositions. Additional training, with an emphasis on fingerprinting, will be provided to local criminal justice personnel responsible for submitting data to the UCH. It is anticipated that the schedule will be such that half of the jail and booking facilities will be trained during 2019/2020 and the other half will be trained during 2020/2021. The trainer will also be available to provide training on request from jail and booking facility administration.
DPS will also use funds to gain and maintain ownership of Utah’s records by becoming a member of the National Fingerprint File (NFF). Personnel will be hired to research Utah records under the control of the FBI and transition legacy records to the NIST format. Two positions will perform research and process Utah records under the control of the FBI and two will perform research for transitioning legacy fingerprint images to NIST. It is anticipated that the project will take approximately 3-5 years to complete. Due to the age of the records and the difficulty in obtaining these records from the FBI and other sources, 2500-3500 records need to be updated per month.
Funds are also being requested to cover travel expenses for monitoring activities and staff to attend a conference or training focused on improving criminal history information, dispositions, and research. The CCJJ program manager will conduct periodic in-person site visits with sub-grantees throughout the lifetime of the grant.