Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2016, $252,511)
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.
The South Dakota Office of the Attorney General, Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) serves as the State Administering Agency (SAA) and has been designated by the Governor as the NCHIP applicant. Under the 2016 priority area of updating and automating case outcomes in state records and the FBIs Criminal History File, the DCI will fund: 1) the continuation project for completing background checks with new workflow areas; and 2) complete the rewrite of the current criminal history system.
The first project is to allow DCI to continue to fund staff to complete criminal and civil background checks. The DCI will employ two full-time employees (FTE) to be responsible for the increase in backgrounds completed. SDs legislature mandates that each year more and more entities need to complete the fingerprint checks prior to employment. In addition, in 2014 legislature passed requiring individuals diagnosed with certain mental health illnesses to be added to the NICS Index. Mental Health boards throughout the state now send DCI qualifying mental health individual records to be entered in the NICS Index. The two FTEs are responsible for processing civilian fingerprint background checks, processing State Penitentiary entries, assisting with NICS requests and Index submissions, processing criminal arrest fingerprint cards, and reconciling III errors and reports. In 2015, SD legislature passed the first enhanced concealed carry law which requires applicants to submit fingerprints to the DCI. In addition, starting in January 2017, a 3rd type of concealed weapon permit that will take effect and add to the background checks. The two FTEs will also be responsible for the creation and development of the recently added new background check workflows.
The second project will fund the completion of the rewrite of the current criminal history system which was created in 1985 and is in need of enhancements. The current outdated system limits what the DCI is capable of in automating and correctly entering information. The new rewrite for the CCH will move to a completely web-based system with a SQL database backend, which will allow it to be placed on newer server infrastructure. The rewrite will enable the DCI to streamline information to the FBI with much more efficiency and accuracy by allowing the information to merge on a daily rather than monthly basis due to the new criminal history information will require less manual entry. (CA/NCF)