Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2018, $371,336)
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 Utah Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice (CCJJ) will transfer funds to the Utah Department of Public Safety (DPS) to improve public safety in the state by enhancing the quality, completeness, and accessibility of criminal history record information. NCHIP funds will be used to continue to research and update missing court dispositions to ensure availability through the Utah Criminal History (UCH) system and accessibility at the time of a national background check. The disposition research project builds on the success of the 1989 through 2017 research efforts that have increased the felony disposition reporting rate to over 85 percent. Additional resources are being allocated to this function to ensure that the felony reporting rate remains high. The ongoing research of missing current and historical dispositions is still needed to assure accountability from agencies and overall accuracy of the criminal history data. DPS still has the need to maintain a training program to deal with the issues leading to failed disposition reporting at both local law enforcement agencies and the courts. Disposition training and research also serves the purpose of making courts and local law enforcement agencies throughout Utah continuously aware of the importance of accurate and complete reporting of dispositions. Additional training, with an emphasis on fingerprinting, will be provided to local criminal justice personnel responsible for submitting data to the UCH.
DPS will also use funds to improve the processing of records to the UCH and e-citation systems. Department of Technology Services (DTS) developers at DPS will work to enhance the back-end portion of these databases. Allowing in-house developers to work on this project on an overtime basis will eliminate the ramp-up time required by a new developer bringing on an outside contractor. It will also eliminate the time required by in-house staff to train a new developer. As the in-house developers are already familiar with Utahs web services environment, productive work on the back-end application can begin immediately.