Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $1,888,869)
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 West Virginia Division of Justice and Community Services (DJCS) will use funds to support their administrative efforts to the project such as site visits, supplies and reporting. Additionally, they will contract out a significant portion of the award to the West Virginia State Patrol (WVSP) and the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) to upgrade the Computerized Criminal History (CCH) system and support staff efforts to improve the quality, completeness, and availability of criminal history and related records.
Funds will be used by the WVSP to support the CCH system replacement. The WV CCH system contains arrest information from all law enforcement, court dispositions reports, fingerprint submissions, sex offender registry, child abuse registry, and concealed weapon permit (NICS prohibitors) registry. The current CCH was developed from a system that was designed in the late 1980s and implemented in the mid 1990s for the West Virginia State Police. While the Criminal Identification Bureau (CIB) has made numerous modifications over the last 20 years, there are many upgrades that are not possible in the current system or database structure. The CCH system is no longer capable of meeting its current needs or responding to increased requirements for compliance to National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) and Sex Offender Registry systems.
The AOC will use funds for staff support to address disposition backlogs and the WVOCMS continuation project. Both of these projects play a vital role in the ability of the court to maintain and improve the quality, completeness and availability of records at the state and national levels.
While the AOC has made significant progress in addressing the backlog of dispositions in the Criminal Record Repository, there still remains several years backlog on disposition reporting. This incomplete record information is of concern due to the increased use of criminal history records for criminal justice, non-criminal justice, and homeland security needs. The backlog is directly related to staffing and resources available to process the incoming disposition forms being submitted by court clerks throughout the state.
The second gap, reporting of indictments to complete the criminal history file, was identified in the AOCs 2014 NCHIP proposal. To build upon the efforts, the AOC is proposing to continue to fund the staff and efforts under this project. The WV Offender Case Management System (WVOCMS) is the system that collects all demographic information, family and criminal history, assessment information, fees information, incarceration information, drug testing and other identifying information. The system has the capability to house scanned copies of the pre-sentence report, court orders and indictments and record missing dispositions for the pre-sentence and LS/CMI reports. The WVOCMS is the most accurate electronic system to pull indictment and submit case file data with a disposition and a required prohibitor to the WVSP Criminal Record Repository for inclusion in the criminal history file.