Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2016, $218,652)
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 2016 NCHIP award, the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (MD DPSCS) will use funds to support the Missing Disposition Records and the Equipment Upgrade for Criminal History Systems Support projects.
Under the missing disposition records project, the MD DPSCS states that in 2010 they had a baseline of missing dispositions totaling 229,008. Since then, approximately 174,008 records have been researched and updated, leaving a balance of 55,000 records missing critical disposition information for arrests. These files must be researched and linked to existing electronic arrest records in order to reduce the backlog of missing dispositions and comply with federal guidelines. Due to the requirements to be met under the Brady law, the state fears that if missing dispositions are not properly linked to arrest records, there may be an increased likelihood of granting applicants who would have otherwise been denied. With the FY 2016 NCHIP funds, MD DPSCS will research and resolve 10,000 of the 55,000 records with missing dispositions. MD DPSCS is also receiving funds under the FY 2016 NARIP program to research and resolve an additional 10,000 records for a cumulative total of 20,000 of the 55,000 remaining.
Under the Equipment Upgrade for Criminal History Systems Support Project, the MD DPSCS has existing equipment that is outdated and needs to be replaced in order to improve support services for multiple DPSCS criminal history systems that include fingerprint activities, domestic violence convictions, mental health records, and Maryland automated firearms system services. The laptops contain computer programs, systems, and presentations that will be carried to meetings for easier collaboration and communication. They will also be used for 24 hour support outside of the office. The Department is in the process of switching all Criminal History applications from Mainframe to Distributed systems, and having the innovative equipment will be an essential part of this transition.
MD DPSCS will be responsible for contributing a 10% match under the 2016 NCHIP grant. (CA/NCF)