Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2017, $121,198)
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 2017 NCHIP project, the Rhode Island Department of Public Safety (RI DPS) will use funds to support award administrative tasks and contract work to the Rhode Island Courts and the State Police.
Under this award, funds will be transferred to the Rhode Island Courts to continue efforts to reduce the backlog of entering dispositions into the criminal history system. Criminal cases are filed in the state courts by approximately fifty (50) different state and local law enforcement agencies. Each year approximately 5,500 felonies and 25,000 misdemeanors are disposed and sentenced. Once criminal cases are disposed, they are put aside for data entry at a later time. Unfortunately, there is often a delay in data entering final case dispositions at the Providence Superior Court, due primarily to the volume of cases and staff shortages. At times, there is a backlog of as many as 15 to 20 boxes of cases in need of data entry of final dispositions. The Courts will continue to support this function through the overtime costs associated with researching and entering the backlog of criminal dispositions and waivers, researching and updating warrants and the required quality control (validation) step of verifying felony criminal filings prior to acceptance into the Automated Court System.
Under the contract to the Rhode Island State Police, the State Police will build off of efforts from their 2016 request to continually support their Rhode Island Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (RILETS) systems. The State Police will procure a managed network switch that is in need of replace for the efficient functionality of the RILETS System. RILETS provides criminal justice network services to seventy criminal justice agencies within Rhode Island. The seventy criminal justice agencies include law enforcement agencies, a tribal law enforcement agency, state corrections, state courts, state probation and other state and federal criminal justice agencies within the state. The message switch servers handle thousands of message transactions each day, providing criminal justice users with the critical data they need to fulfill their public safety and homeland security responsibilities. Ultimately, this project will enhance the states ability to continue in their efforts to comply with enhancements recommended by the FBI and/or federal law, including improved participation in NICS, and possibly the FBIs National Data Exchange System. RI DPS will be responsible for contributing a 10% match under the 2017 NCHIP grant.