Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2018, $1,495,386)
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 FY 2018 award, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement will use funds to purchase and deploy to pilot court sites, rapid identification (two-finger reader) devices and livescan equipment to verify the defendants identity through rapid ID at different stages of the trial process and the digital capture of fingerprints through a livescan device at the time a guilty judgment is entered. Currently, in Florida, fingerprinting does not occur until a judgment of guilty is entered for a felony or misdemeanor petit theft or prostitution offense. At such time, a sheriffs deputy obtains a 10-print fingerprint ink and roll from the defendant on a paper fingerprint card in open court and in the presence of the presiding judge. The fingerprints are affixed to the written judgment and the judge signs below the fingerprints indicating that the fingerprints were taken in his/her presence in open court. The manually-signed paper judgment is provided to the clerk of court. The clerk of court disseminates a scanned image of the fingerprints to FDLE and sends certified paper copies of the judgment to the Department of Corrections. As illustrated, manual fingerprinting imposes a greater administrative burden on all parties involved versus digital fingerprinting. This project will address this issue.
Additionally, the FDLE will use funds to update the current disposition matching business rules, develop, test and implement the new schema. Currently, Florida has arrest records without disposition data associated due to the current file submission formats inability to accurately match some records with current data elements. Unmatched records continue to be manually researched and updated which can result in decision making delays for various stakeholder groups. These delays can cause a firearm to potentially be released to a person who is ineligible to receive it among other issues. This project will implement NIEM XML formatted information on incoming data that will be used to close the gap in being able to match that information with data already stored within the repository.