Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2017, $208,640)
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 Administrative Agency (SAA) and has been designated by the Governor as the NCHIP applicant. Under the 2017 priority area 1 of updating and automating case outcomes in state records and the FBIs Criminal History File, the DCI will conduct two continuation projects: 1) completing background checks with new workflow areas; and 2) purchasing replacement Livescans for four agencies.
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 continue to be responsible for the increase in background checks completed. SDs legislature mandates that each year more and more entities require fingerprint-based background 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. As a result, mental Health boards throughout the state now send DCI qualifying mental health records for entry in the NICS Index. The two FTEs are also 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 January 2017, a 3rd type of concealed weapon permit took effect and was added to the background checks. This permit allows SD residents to purchase a firearm using the permit card, and since gaining ATF approval, SD DCI has seen a significant increase in workflow of fingerprint based checks.
The second project will fund the purchase of four Livescans devices. Currently, SD has 36 active Livescans operating in the busiest entities. Many of the 36 Livescans were purchased in 2008 and are currently operating on outdated software and Microsoft XP systems. With NCHIP funds from 2014 and 2015, SD DCI was able to purchased four Livescans each year to implement in the states highest submitting agencies. SD DCI would like to continue the phase approach by purchasing four new Livescans to replace the outdated ones in priority agencies to improve the fingerprint process and ensure the information is accurate and efficient. The SD DCI has identified the four counties that will receive the new Livescans: Brule County, Marshall County, Jones County, and Moody County. These counties currently have the highest percentages of criminal ink and roll fingerprints submitted each month. In addition to the Livescans, the NCHIP funds will also be used to purchase new printers for the new Livescans to ensure the fingerprints are copied accurately. (CA/NCF)