Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $1,840,703)
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 (updating and automating case outcomes in state records and the FBI's Criminal History File) and 2 (automating access information concerning persons prohibited from possessing or receiving a firearm and transmitting relevant records to II, NCIC, and the NICS), the New York State, Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS), along with the Office of Court Administration (OCA) will design and implement a new reporting interface between the two agencies.
The current process for transmitting disposition data from OCA to the statewide criminal history database (CCH) maintained by DCJS, is an inefficient, decades-old process with limited capability to handle real-time transmissions or any significant increase in disposition volume. DCJS received dispositions and defendant histories from OCA to update the State Criminal History records with information entered into the court administrative records. Approximately 50,000 disposition records are received per day and 64% of the records are defendant histories and it is anticipated that the record volume will grow with the phased implementation of the new Universal Case Management System (UCMS) in selected courts. Transmissions for most courts are sent from OCA to the CCH only once per day after business hours in order to control data traffic, resulting in delays in disposition reporting. In addition, the current disposition reporting process relies on an outdated mainframe program maintained at OCA which is becoming difficult to maintain. OCA hopes to retire the mainframe interface within the next five years. Furthermore, the current system has no automated capacity to update dispositions of juvenile cases, which is still a manual, labor-intensive process that leads to missing and inaccurate information. Missing identifiers in the dispositions contribute to the inability to accurately match arrests to dispositions, and inaccurate dispositions and un-docketed arrests further add to the missing disposition problem.
The project will be completed in phases with the first phase being part of this funded NCHIP project. The first phase will focus on automating juvenile disposition reporting while building the technical foundation of the new transmission system. The technical foundation will serve as the proof-of-concept for adult court disposition processing. The current manual juvenile disposition reporting process will be eliminated. This will require automated collection in the family court case management system of key identifiers such as state fingerprint numbers and arrest tracking numbers to ensure the court records are complete and may be appropriately connected to the original arrest records held in CCH. System changes at OCA are needed to provide more structure to some elements including charge information. The development of a more modern interface will allow a real time collaborative workflow between OCA and DCJS.