Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2014, $529,453)
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 Washington State Patrol (WSP), the state's NCHIP administering agency, will use funds to complete four projects: 1) Research Missing Dispositions. Arrests with open dispositions over one year old are not disseminated on non-law enforcement inquiries which reduces the effectiveness of policies created to eliminate certain individuals from possessing firearms, obtaining professional licenses, or gaining employment in positions they are restricted from holding. WSP will use funds to use a combination of temporary project staff and overtime to work on researching open dispositions and entering those into the Washington State Identification System (WASIS) database to increase the number of available dispositions. These dispositions will then be forwarded to the FBI for inclusion in the national database; 2) Spokane County Prosecutor's Office - Disposition Backlog Reduction. Spokane County has a population of 475,735, making it the fourth-most populous county in Washington State. The largest city and county seat is Spokane, the second largest city in the state, only behind Seattle. In 2013, 4,750 adult felony referrals were received by the Spokane County Prosecutor's Office. Through the WSP ACCESS system, Spokane County Prosecutor support staff has desktop access to nationwide criminal history records. Funds will continue to support a Criminal History Record Specialist position to evaluate existing criminal history records and provide the appropriate reports and an analysis to the deputy prosecutor immediately after arrest. A major outcome of this project will be to improve data quality. To date, this position has discovered and corrected over 500 records and has updated the records in the WSP Criminal Records Division; 3) Spokane County Forensics Unit - Fingerprint and Mug Shot Data System Integration. The Livescans currently in use by the Spokane County Forensics Unit must be replaced because the current devices cannot support a software solution to upgrade to Windows 7. Funds will be used to purchase two DataWorks Plus Digital PhotoManager with LiveScan Plus stations along with an interface which will connect with the Spokane County Jail's Offender Management System (OMS) and will allow Spokane County staff to continue to capture fingerprints and photographs for adult and juvenile arrestees. This will enable the Unit to improve the availability and completeness of sex offender records and records during a NICS firearm background check. The new equipment will allow Spokane County to continue to transmit fingerprints to ensure immediate identification of records for criminal history inquiries at the state and national level; and 4) Livescan Acquisitions for Local Jurisdictions. Funds will be used to replace Livescans in five counties and one juvenile justice center that cannot support a software solution to upgrade to the current Windows 7 environment. The volume of submissions from these agencies varies from 300-14,000 criminal arrests per year. Absent these submissions, the state and FBI would not have complete and accurate criminal history information when a NICS firearm background check is conducted. (CA/NCF)