Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $1,575,000)
The Hawaii Criminal Justice Data Center’s (HCJDC) priority under this grant is to continue its coordinated effort to identify and close the gaps in the reporting of data to the NICS. The Hawaii Firearms Working Group (NICS Task Force) is comprised of representatives from the State and County criminal justice and local law enforcement agencies, including but not limited to, Hawaii County, Maui County (Maui, Molokai, and Lanai), Honolulu County, and Kauai County, the State Department of the Attorney General, the Judiciary, and the State Department of Health. One key component to accurately reporting data to the NICS is the ability to positively identify an individual. Positive identification is achieved in Hawaii by fingerprint comparison and with a complete criminal history record that includes biometric data and historical criminal data. The Hawaii Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS) is a complete system that houses and processes biometric information. Fingerprints, palm prints, latent, and mugphoto services are all performed by the ABIS. Hawaii’s ABIS communicates with the federal biometric system sending Hawaii biometric data for a national comparison and contribution to the national criminal history repository. This includes non-criminal justice fingerprints. Criminal history background checks for licensing, employment and firearms permits are conducted by fingerprints for positive identification. Task force members recognized the need for reporting to the NICS and have begun improvements to firearms data capture and data sharing. The Prosecutors’ offices are looking at case backlogs and the need for updating case dispositions. The Prosecutors are partnering with the police departments, State law enforcement and criminal justice agencies to address the most recent concern of violators of surrendering a firearm. The NARIP grant provides a means for Hawaii to collect criminal history data and support the initiatives aimed to improve the completeness of its data and its transmission to the national databases. Hawaii emphasizes the need to positively identify individuals using biometric data as the foundation of Hawaii’s criminal history records are fingerprints collected at arrest.