Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $167,085)
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 award, the Rhode Island Department of Public Safety (RI DPS) will use funds to support award administrative tasks and subgrant work out the Rhode Island Courts and the State Police.
The Rhode Island Courts will use funds to research and update dispositions. Criminal cases are filed in the state courts by approximately fifty different state and local law enforcement agencies. Each year approximately 5,500 felonies and 25,000 misdemeanors are disposed and sentenced. Once criminal cases are disposed, they are put aside for data entry at a later time. There is often a delay in data entering final case dispositions at the Providence Superior Court, due primarily to the volume of cases and staff shortages. At times, there is a backlog of as many as 15 to 20 boxes of cases in need of data entry of final dispositions. The Courts propose to support this function through the overtime costs associated with researching and entering the backlog of criminal dispositions and waivers, researching and updating warrants and the time-consuming, required quality control (validation) step of verifying felony criminal filings prior to acceptance into the ACS system.
The State Police are trying to build off of efforts from their 2014 request and support the RILETS systems they received by installing a redundant network system. RILETS provides criminal justice network services to seventy criminal justice agencies within Rhode Island. The seventy criminal justice agencies include law enforcement agencies, a tribal law enforcement agency, state corrections, state courts, state probation and other state and federal criminal justice agencies within the state. The RILETS network and associated software applications are used to securely connect criminal justice users with a variety of local, state, regional and national data sources. All of the data services mentioned above are dependent on a reliable and robust RILETS network. At the heart of the RILETS network is the RILETS message switch and core router. The message switch servers and the core router handle thousands of message transactions each day, providing our criminal justice users with the critical data they need to fulfill their public safety and homeland security responsibilities. The servers and core router also deliver Rhode Island criminal history and other critical Rhode Island data to criminal justice users nationwide. For example, the FBI NICS Unit gains access to Rhode Island criminal history through the RILETS network and Rhode Island sex offender data is accessed and managed within the RILETS network. The RILETS system is the single point of all requests and must be operable 24 hours a day, seven days a week. As such, the RISP will install a redundant network system to avoid any downtime.