Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $55,390)
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 3, the Vermont Department of Public Safety (VDPS) will use federal funds to conduct a series of task to improve their ability to report and improve the quality of records at the state and national level.
VDPS will use funds to review a backlog of cases for possible expungement. Under Vermont law, fingerprints taken pursuant to an arrest must be destroyed if the case does not end with a conviction. Frequently the VCIC receives arrest fingerprints on cases for which no disposition information is received or a non-conviction disposition is received from the courts. Unless the VCIC can link the arrest with a conviction disposition the fingerprints must be destroyed and the case must be expunged from III. Therefore, it is in the interests of both the VCIC and III to determine whether or not any conviction occurred in these cases and to update record systems accordingly.
VDPS will also use funds to upgrade several computers purchased in 2011. The primary functionality of these devices is the addition, retrieval, modification and deletion of various levels of criminal history information. Ten units were replaced in 2013 and the seven requested in this funding are part of our ongoing three year replacement plan. The VCIC has a large quantity of incoming and outgoing correspondence and interaction with various agencies across the criminal justice system. It is critical that various aspects of their business software are kept fully updated to ensure continued connectivity for the bi-lateral transmission of data.
Under Priority two, VDPS request no federal support but identified the States match requirement by continuing to conduct criminal justice research in response to NICS request.
Under Priority three (3), VDPS will use funds to continue efforts toward becoming a National Fingerprint File (NFF) state. In this effort the State has started to take control of the records (currently maintained by the FBI) so they can be updated and full disposition reporting can be made available via III. The FBI maintains control of between 75,000 80,000 Vermont records on the III System.