Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2014, $528,128)
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 West Virginia Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS), the state's NCHIP administering agency, will pass through funding to the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals (the Court) to continue the state's efforts to improve its disposition reporting. The Repository currently has a several year backlog on disposition reporting and the Court has also identified mistakes on new disposition reports that must be addressed in order to ensure the accuracy and completeness of criminal history records. The state is also challenged by an inefficient and incomplete process to report indictments. Currently, the only uniform system that the indictments can be collected and maintained in is the West Virginia Offender Case Management System (WVOCMS). This past year, the Court assessed methods of reporting indictments and information(s) to the Repository for inclusion in the criminal history file. The analysis revealed that many of the dispositions are included, or should be included, in the WVOCMS because probation officers spend countless hours tracking down dispositions for the pre-sentence report that are not on the III report and include copies of the originating charge documents including indictments and information(s). The Court identified this source of electronic data to be the easiest, most accurate form of electronic retrieval of disposition data but staffing constraints are a challenge to capturing, cleaning, and monitoring the data. To address these issues, the Court will use funds to support personnel costs for four Data Quality Manager positions to retrieve scanned data from the field to initiate an offender in the WVOCMS and research and update missing dispositions and a WVOCMS State Database Manager to monitor security and access on the WVOCMS, run weekly and monthly reports to identify systemic issues, monitor the accuracy of disposition data before it is entered into the WVOCMS and/or updated in the criminal history record, and provide training and TA to the field line staff and Data Quality Managers. Funds will also be used to support overtime hours for the West Virginia State Police to address the state's current backlog of dispositions and contractual services to improve the disposition reporting capability of the WVOCMS and the state's Unified Judicial Application. (CA/NCF)