Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $397,454)
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, the Washington State Patrol (WSP) will use funds to support three (3) projects – Researching Missing Dispositions, Updating and Automating Case Outcomes from Courts and Prosecutors in State Records and FBI's Criminal History File, and Acquiring Livescan Equipment for Local Jurisdictions.
Under Project 1, WSP proposes to research arrests with open dispositions over one year old, as they are not disseminated on non-law enforcement inquiries. This limitation creates a gap in reporting and reduces the effectiveness of policies created to prevent ineligible individuals from possessing firearms, obtaining professional licenses or gaining employment in positions they are restricted from holding.
Under Project 2, WSP proposes to hire a temporary employee to update and automate case outcomes from the Spokane County Prosecutor's Office in state records and FBI's Criminal History File through the implementation of improved criminal history record capture procedures. This improved procedure includes, but is not limited to, providing complete arrest reporting, researching of missing dispositions, provided that the captured data is subsequently included in relevant state and federal files, and timely updates. Additionally, through data analysis focused on the completeness of criminal history records, the capture of data regarding domestic violence misdemeanor convictions, and all NICS prohibiting factors, the Spokane County Prosecutor's Office will ensure that these criteria are included in the process to establish more accurate and effective information quality controls. Due to the variety of ways reporting was performed over the years, there have been a great number of corrections needed to be made. The Spokane County Criminal History Specialist has discovered and corrected over 500 records.
Under Project 3, WSP proposes to acquire and deploy Livescan workstations for nine local jurisdictions. Additionally, WSP will convert manual records to electronic records, ultimately, ensuring that records of all criminal events that start with an arrest are included in the state and federal databases. The WSP recently converted its computer operating system from Windows XP (which is no longer supported by Microsoft) to Windows 7. While some counties were able to support their own transition to compatible devices, many of the local jurisdictions throughout the state which transmit criminal history data to the WSP do not have this capability. Currently, these devices are not only incompatible in their software but also are very aged.