Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $1,500,000)
SEARCH, The National Consortium for Justice Information and Statistics, is a nonprofit organization governed by a Membership Group of governor appointees from the 50 States, the District of Columbia, and the territories. SEARCH has over 53 years of experience supporting the information sharing, interoperability, communications, information technology, high-tech crime investigative, and criminal records systems needs of state, local, and tribal justice and public safety agencies and practitioners nationwide.
SEARCH and the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) will provide technical assistance (TA) to support the goals and objectives of its National Criminal History Improvement Program (NCHIP) and NICS Act Record Improvement Program (NARIP). Areas of TA will include assisting states, local jurisdictions, and tribes in: 1) improving the accuracy, timeliness and completeness of criminal history records to support both criminal justice and noncriminal justice purposes; 2) implementing multiagency information exchanges to improve criminal records and to support tactical and strategic decision-making; 3) expanding and enhancing analytical capabilities using administrative data obtained from criminal history record information systems; and 4) increasing the number of qualifying records submitted to NCIC, III, and the NICS Indices to support firearms-related background checks. TA will be conducted both in person (on site) and via telephone, email, and website.
SEARCH will work with its Membership, the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Center for State Courts (NCSC), the FBI and other stakeholders to conduct regional workshops focusing on current efforts to improve criminal history information and other records necessary to support firearms background checks. SEARCH will work with our partners to ensure that invitees are representative of the entire justice community—each of whom plays an important role in contributing information to the state criminal history repository. Discussion topics for the workshops include: 1) development and successful implementation of the provisions outlined in the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA) and the Fix NICS Act of 2018; 2) data quality auditing and analysis practices to support repository operations and effective planning for the use of federal record improvement grant programs; 3) effective outreach and training programs to maintain the accuracy and completeness of criminal history records; 4) recommended practices for reporting/recording important criminal history events, such as—relevant juvenile records as permitted under state law; 5) arrests on warrants; 6) violations of community supervision, probation, parole, etc.; 7) cite and release, notifications to appear in court, etc.; and 8) revisiting the utility of the criminal history record and evaluating if the needs of users are effectively met.
SEARCH will continue to conduct Membership surveys, which in the past have been found to be useful to agencies and individuals seeking to enhance (or learn more about) criminal history repository operations. SEARCH will also conduct and publish the results from the State Survey of Criminal History Information Systems.