Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $2,206,584)
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 areas 1 and 2, the Montana Board of Crime Control (MBCC) will use funds to improve Montana's criminal records systems and related systems to markedly improve the functioning of the State's criminal justice system.
Under Priority 1, MBCC proposes to contract with the Montana Department of Justice (MT DOJ) to upgrade their current computerized criminal history (CCH) system to enable charge level tracking, upgrade to National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) conformance, develop bidirectional data exchange with the Montana Office of the Court Administrator (MTOCA) FullCourt Enterprise (FCE) and develop a more efficient platform for the Sexual and Violent Offender Registry (SVOR).
Currently, Montana charges only at the Arrest Cycle level but, with numerous data exchange failures occurring due to the complexity of actions at this level, the State proposes to switch to a charge level tracking system. Without charge level tracking, revocations of charges are extremely difficult to process electronically. These variations are less problematic when processed manually but, to achieve greater efficiency, charge level tracking is required to enable successful electronic data exchanges. However, implementing the FullCourt Enterprise ((FCE) funded under NCHIP 2014), and upgrading the CCH for charge tracking functionality will enable Montana to eliminate most paper processes.
Under Priority 2, MBCC proposes contract with the Montana Department of Corrections (MTDOC) to upgrade their current offender management information system (OMIS) and improve reporting of relevant records to NICS. This effort will focus on an adult reentry initiative as an established effort to implement a seamless framework of services and supervision for each offender, from entry into custody to aftercare in the community.
The MTDOC has identified two distinct areas that would provide significant process improvements for department staff, community providers and partners, law enforcement and court officials. These two silos are Pre-Sentence Investigation (PSI) data and the Montana Board of Pardons and Parole (MTBOPP) decisions and recommendations.
Under the current system, MTDOC staff must deal with slow, manual, labor-intensive paper processing for the creation of PSI. The PSI includes the initial record entry for offender demographics and personal information, current charges and convictions, criminal history, victim information and evaluations and recommendations.
The other information silo in Montana is the database owned by the MTBOPP. The database contains records related to an offender's board hearing, recommendations and decisions. Due to current technological limitations, information is not being paired with the MTDOC OMIS and is creating duplicative effort of Board staff to maintain current information.
The destruction of these information silos through implementation of OMIS version 3 would dramatically reduce duplication of efforts and improve MTDOC ability to share information internally and externally.