Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2014, $755,737)
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 Utah Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice (CCJJ) will transfer funds to the Utah Department of Public Safety (DPS) to: 1) continue to research and update missing court dispositions to ensure availability through the Computerized Criminal History (CCH) system and accessibility at the time of a national background check; and 2) rewrite the Utah Criminal Justice Information System (UCJIS) web front interface to enable more efficient and enhanced functionality for users to access all state and national criminal history and related background check systems.
The disposition research project builds on the success of the 1989 through 2013 research efforts that have increased the felony disposition reporting rate to over 85 percent. Additional resources are being allocated to this function to ensure that the felony reporting rate remains high. The ongoing research of missing current and historical dispositions is still needed to assure accountability from agencies and overall accuracy of the criminal history data. The DPS still has the need to maintain a training program to deal with the issues leading to failed disposition reporting at both local law enforcement agencies and the courts. Disposition training and research also serves the purpose of making courts and local law enforcement agencies throughout Utah continuously aware of the importance of accurate and complete reporting of dispositions. The UCJIS web front is used by all Utah criminal justice agencies and authorized civil agencies to access Utah and national criminal justice systems. It is also used extensively by the Bureau of Criminal Identification for criminal history and gun check processing. It is a critical tool for all Utah criminal justice agencies that is currently outdated, inefficient, and inflexible. Funds will be used for contractual programmers to assist in-house developers with the design and development of rewriting the UCJIS web front application to increase functionality and better support the criminal justice community. (CA/NCF)