Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2014, $220,600)
The goal of the National Criminal History Improvement Program (NCHIP) is to improve the Nation's safety and security by enhancing the quality, completeness, and accessibility of criminal history record information and by insuring the nationwide implementation of criminal justice and noncriminal justice background check systems. BJS provides direct financial and technical assistance to the states to improve criminal history and other related records and to build their infrastructure to connect to national record check systems both to supply information and to conduct the requisite checks.
Under this award, the Vermont Department of Public Safety (DPS), the state's NCHIP administering agency, will use funds to collaborate with the Vermont Crime Information Center (VCIC), the state repository, to complete tasks associated with the following projects: 1) Reduce backlog of missing dispositions. VCIC has a backlog of cases which are being reviewed for possible expungement from the state repository and Interstate Identification Index (III) records. Vermont state law requires that fingerprints taken pursuant to an arrest must be destroyed if the case does not end in conviction. Frequently, VCIC receives arrest fingerprints on cases for which no disposition information is received or a non-conviction disposition is received from the courts. Unless VCIC can link the arrest with a conviction disposition the fingerprints must be destroyed and the case must be expunged from III. VCIC will use NCHIP funds to support staff time to research and resolve missing dispositions so that fingerprint-supported arrests can either be retained in or expunged from III. This effort will improve the quality, completeness, and accuracy of records available at the state and national levels; 2) Increase the consistency and accuracy of statute code information as it flows through the legal process from the time of arrest to final disposition by developing a common statute code table. VCIC has implemented a project to assess and identify solutions for ways to improve the accuracy, timeliness, and completeness of criminal history information as records pass through various levels of the state's criminal justice system, including the Judiciary, the Department of Corrections, and the State Attorney Office, from time of arrest through final disposition. VCIC will use funds to develop and implement a common statute code that includes updated and standardized statute codes for use by agencies that maintain and report criminal history record information; 3) Support state efforts to become eligible for the National Fingerprint File (NFF). The FBI currently maintains control of between 75,000 to 80,000 Vermont records in III. VCIC will use funds to support staff efforts to take control of and update about 10,000 state records to provide full disposition reporting via III; and 4) Upgrade obsolete equipment. VCIC will use funds to purchase 7 new computers and software licenses to support staff efforts to enter, retrieve, modify, and delete criminal history information. (CA/NCF)