Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $2,582,959)
The West Virginia Justice and Community Services (JCS) Section will use funds to continue to improve the availability of prohibiting records. For over a decade, the JCS Section of the West Virginia Division of Administrative Services, the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia (Court), and the West Virginia State Police (WVSP) have collaborated and developed a strong partnership. While the state has experienced tremendous accomplishments regarding its Record Improvement Project since its inception in 2007, past strategies to improve criminal history data sharing have not been successful in decreasing the state’s backlog. There is a several year backlog of Court Disposition Reporting forms (CDRs) awaiting entry into the state’s criminal records repository with an estimated 331,203 missing dispositions on these backlogged CDRs. West Virginia has spent the past few years ensuring proactive efforts are taken to reduce these numbers at the WVSP Criminal Identification Bureau (CIB). A primary goal regarding criminal records is to provide accurate, complete, and timely dispositions that are immediately accessible by completing and using the West Virginia Charge Codes Database. Completion of this project will allow law enforcement and court recordkeeping systems to exchange information and make this information available upon criminal history background checks. The state is also close to establishing automated interfaces between the CIB and courts and continues criminal record searches to locate, submit, and make available missing and incorrect dispositions. The state will continue to make mental health, domestic violence, and other prohibiting record information available to the NICS Indices. Automation is the state’s primary priority. With the enhancement and integration of electronic systems, it is critical to have dedicated personnel who provide oversight, data analysis, and continued training.