Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2018, $741,313)
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 Administering Agency (SAA) and has been designated by the Governor as the NCHIP applicant.
Under the 2018 priority area of updating and automating case outcomes in state records and the FBIs Criminal History File, the DCI will conduct 1) the continuation project for completing background checks with new workflow areas; and 2) purchasing an Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) upgrade.
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 backgrounds completed. The two FTEs are responsible for processing civilian finger-print 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 addition, the two FTEs will capture data on domestic violence misdemeanor convictions, capture data on persons convicted of abuse of children, the elderly, and the disabled or stalking and domestic violence offenses and submit disposition information to NICS. SDs legislature mandates that each year more and more entities need to complete the fingerprint checks prior to employment. In addition, in 2014 legislature passed requiring individuals diagnosed with certain mental health illnesses to be added to the NICS Indices. Mental Health boards throughout the state now send DCI qualifying mental health individual records to be entered in the NICS Indices.
The second project will fund the purchase of an AFIS upgrade. The current AFIS in use by the state is based on a technological platform that is several generations outdated and is at the end of its life expectancy. DCI will use NCHIP funds to assist in the completion of an upgrade to the AFIS which will provide a significant and needed improvement to the states criminal record systems to support background checks, including NICS. The upgrade AFIS will also ensure that the infrastructure in SD is developed to connect criminal history records systems to the federal systems, ensuring accuracy and availability. Specifically, the records in the current system will need to be converted over to new servers, compatible with the upgraded software. The new servers include Biometric Search Services, Data Processes, and Data Exchange Services. The expenses associated with the migration of the data, the new servers, installation of the new servers, and appropriate software installation and testing make up the bulk of the AFIS upgrade.