Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2017, $570,781)
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 award, the Alaska Department of Public Safety (AK DPS) will use funds to support the Missing Disposition Backlog, Consolidation of Duplicate Criminal Records and Alaska Court System (ACS) projects.
Missing Disposition Backlog. The AK DPS will continue to update records with additional felony/misdemeanor disposition information and reduce the backlog. There are 18,503 identified felony charges missing dispositions for this project. Due to several challenges retaining staff to enter Alaska Court sentencing information, the state will continues to encounter backlog issues. Statewide travel to court locations and corresponding police agencies, prosecutors offices, and correctional offices may be required to locate missing court disposition source documents. Given a recent policy change from the ACS, it is unlikely that an automated means of reporting criminal case disposition information will be developed in the near future.
Consolidation of Duplicate Criminal Records. The AK DPS designed the criminal history repository to ensure identity integrity of records forwarded to state and federal databases and inquiries. Currently, DPS assigns a State Identification Number (SID) to persons who have contact with criminal justice agencies. If a person is associated with more than one SID, it creates identity ambiguity and records are blocked from transmission. Duplicate records may be created due to spelling inconsistencies or lack of sufficient identifying information for an automated interface to verify duplicate records are being submitted. As of 12-31-2016, the number of duplicate records is estimated to be 7,397. Through continuing the consolidating of duplicate records, online data will be more accurate. The FBI and other agencies conducting background checks for firearms purchases, firearms permits, licensing, and employment, as well as criminal justice agencies querying records online will face less risk of receiving incomplete information.
Alaska Court Project. The AK DPS will contract with the Alaska Court System to continue its efforts to close the gaps in criminal history records that impede the ability of NICS to accurately confirm a prohibited prospective buyer of a firearm. Funds will be used for an Integrated Justice Coordinator, a Case Management System Analyst, and a Programming Analyst focused on the goal of increasing the number and reliability of criminal records by improving their accuracy, automation, accessibility, uniformity, quality and completeness in order to improve the timeliness and accessibility of criminal history information provided at both state and national levels. Funds will also be used for necessary training for court programmers, support, and business analysts who are engaged in the implementation and management of ACS new content management system. This system will include automation and electronic transmittal of criminal dispositions and is part of ACS implementation of a statewide e filing system. This system will transition the court system from a paper based system to an electronic system. The training will provide ACS personnel with the tools needed to implement, use and manage an automated content management system that will improve timely and more complete and accurate criminal disposition reporting.