U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Vermont National Criminal History Improvement Program

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2016, $102,478)

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 priority areas 1, 2 and 3, the Vermont Department of Public Safety (VDPS) will use federal funds to conduct a series of task to improve their ability to report and improve the quality of records at the state and national level.

Under Priority one (1), VDPS will use agency employees on an overtime basis to review a backlog of cases for possible expungement. The overtime will not exceed 10 hours per week for the two employees assigned to this project. Under Vermont law, fingerprints taken pursuant to an arrest must be destroyed if the case does not end with a conviction. Frequently the VCIC receives arrest fingerprints on cases for which no disposition information is received or a non-conviction disposition is received from the courts. Unless the VCIC can link the arrest with a conviction disposition the fingerprints must be destroyed and the case must be expunged from III. It is, therefore, in the interests of both the VCIC and III to determine whether or not any conviction occurred in these cases and to update record systems accordingly.

Under Priority two (2), VDPS will pass through funds to the courts to automate the submission of mental health records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). Currently, Vermont submits mental health disqualifiers to the NICS sections by manually validating data reports and then uploading them through the Law Enforcement Enterprise Portal (LEEP). This process requires significant manual intervention for both inclusion and removal of individuals from the Index. The judiciary will implement a data exchange system by using the state law enforcement switch. The primary goals of this project will be to automate the above process in order to decrease the risk of error and increase the speed, efficiency, and timeliness of data being reported to the NICS Index.

Under Priority three (3), VDPS will continue to use existing staff on an overtime basis not to exceed 10 hours per week to continue their efforts to becoming a National Fingerprint File (NFF) state. In this effort the State has started to take control of the records (currently maintained by the FBI) so, they can be updated and full disposition reporting can be made available via III. The FBI maintains control of between 75,000 – 80,000 Vermont records on the III System. VCIC expects to take control of 10,000 of these records during the grant period.

VDPS will be responsible for contributing a 10% match under the 2016 NCHIP grant. (CA/NCF)

Date Created: September 13, 2016