Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2018, $160,890)
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 2018 NCHIP priority areas 1, 2 and 3, the Vermont Department of Public Safety (VTDPS) will use federal funds to conduct a series of task to improve their ability to report and improve the quality of records at the state and national level.
VTDPS will use agency employees on an overtime basis to review a backlog of cases for possible expungement. The overtime will not exceed 10 hours per week for the two employees assigned to this project. Under Vermont law, fingerprints taken pursuant to an arrest must be destroyed if the case does not end with a conviction. Frequently the VCIC receives arrest fingerprints on cases for which no disposition information is received or a non-conviction disposition is received from the courts. Unless the VCIC can link the arrest with a conviction disposition the fingerprints must be destroyed and the case must be expunged from the Interstate Identification Index (III). It is, therefore, in the interests of both the Vermont Crime Information Center (VCIC) and III to determine whether or not any conviction occurred in these cases and to update record systems accordingly.
VTDPS will upgrade their computerized criminal history (CCH) system through this project. Currently, the VTPDS does not have the ability to repeat event cycle information or edit multiple events within the criminal history record automatically. Additionally, these upgrades will automate the interface between the state database and the CCH with regards to criminal history information. The primary goals of this project will be to streamline and automate the processing of criminal history information in and out of the system in the most efficient manner.
VTDPS will continue to use existing staff on an overtime basis not to exceed 10 hours per week to continue their efforts to becoming a National Fingerprint File (NFF) state. In this effort the state has started to take control of the records (currently maintained by the FBI) so, they can be updated and full disposition reporting can be made available via III. The FBI maintains control of between 75,000 80,000 Vermont records on the III System. VCIC expects to take control of 10,000 of these records during the grant period.