Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2017, $115,000)
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 this award, the Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration, Office of Criminal Justice Programs will transfer funds to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) to aid in the state's efforts to improve criminal history records. The states criminal history record improvement (CHRI) project is a multi-year, phased plan designed to address the goal of improving state and federal criminal history information records available to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). The project will span approximately five (5) years depending on the level of funding available per federal fiscal year. Phase I of the CHRI project was an effort to modernize and standardize the way original charge data is collected from primary booking agencies and reported to the repository. Phase II of the CHRI project was designed to improve the quality, completeness, accuracy, and availability of records at the state and national level. Activities being performed under this phase should be completed by March 2018. Phase III of the project is currently underway and involves the replacement of livescans in 15 counties, as well as eliminating the disposition backlog. Funds are being requested to complete phase IV of the multi-year project.
TBI will replace the current National Crime Information Center (NCIC) Testing system with a web-based system that is not dependent upon any software on a workstation. This will allow all users in the state to test on the system based on their NCIC access levels (i.e.: full access, query only access, etc.). The system will also automate many of the current functions that have to be done manually. Functions such as manual entry of testing access forms, certificate generation, and emailing users about pending expiration dates will be automated or allow entry at the user level.
Information Technology (IT) is changing and improving at an exponential rate. Most agencies struggle with keeping their employees up-to-date in this ever-changing environment. The management of the Information Services Division is charged with keeping TBIs IT systems as current as possible. Attendance at national conferences, meetings, and events helps ensure exposure to the latest technology and best practices for IT systems. Funds are requested to allow a staff member to attend the annual SEARCH membership meetings where information can be gathered and exchanged on common issues surrounding the maintenance and validation of criminal history records and information. In addition to the SEARCH meetings, a staff member will attend the National Association of Justice Information Sharing (NAJIS) Conference to explore IT technologies and standards that improve and engineer information sharing throughout the Country. Program management and support will also be covered with funds from the NCHIP 2017 program.