Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $333,630)
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 the 2015 NCHIP priority area that addresses “automating access to information concerning persons prohibited from possessing or receiving firearm and transmitting relevant records” the North Carolina Department of Public Safety (DPS), will coordinate with the Administrative Office of the Courts to locate and enter mental health commitment cases for the ten years prior to the automated reporting date to NICS. The project will use 6 part-time record management specialists to travel to the Clerks of Superior Court Offices automate the records. Based on results from previous projects, the DPS anticipates 9,000 additional hours can be committed to this 18 month project which requires traveling to the number of counties remaining that needs their records automated. The part-time employees will have the benefit of collaboration and technical assistance from permanent Business Systems Analyst staff and a Field Manager. The Administrative Officer for the Court Services Division will also continue working with elected Clerks of Superior Court to determine when the part-time employees can travel to their office for review and entry of information to minimize courthouse disruptions.
Most of the 537,362 files from 1998-2008 can be reviewed and entered in a timely manner using the records management specialists, and potentially overtime hours for deputy clerks, if needed. Benefits from the project include increased reporting of mental commitments to NICS, faster research time for gun permit requests, and greater availability of mental health data for determination of gun permit issuance. In addition, the DPS intends to explore new automated integration opportunities to transmit other details to further enhance the information available to NICS. (CA/NCF)