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Pennsylvania Criminal History System Improvement

Award Information

Award #
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2019, $6,589,444)

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 2019 NCHIP priority areas, the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) will conduct five projects. 1) AFIS (Automated Fingerprint Information System) Replacement: The current AFIS system has reached its end of life and needs to be replaced. The Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) will replace the existing outdated system and software with advanced technology. The upgrade will provide higher accuracy and increased efficiency. The AFIS will replace legacy operating system software and server hardware, and to accommodate the continued growth of the identification databases and system workloads. The AFIS will feature interfaces and automated data interchanges with PAs CCH system. The project will include several upgrades, such as, distributed computing, browser-based interfaces, TCP/IP communications protocol, software matching and relational database software in which the application can connect to databases via using web services to allow for zero dependency and extendibility. The new system must be flexible to interface with the current systems of CCH, FBI, and existing Livescans. 2) Expansion of Booking Centers: PCCD will purchase Livescans and equipment for 4 County Locations (Bedford, Montour, Perry and Susquehanna). The creating of a central booking center includes 3 components: 1) Fingerprinting - the Livescan arrest reporting device replaces the ink-and-roll process with electronic scanning of fingerprints. Digital copies are transmitted to the AFIS at the PSP for identification and storage; 2) Photo imaging - stations capture and store digital photographs of arrested offenders; and 3) facial recognition capabilities. 3) NICS Firearms Criminal History Update: NCHIP funds will be used to streamline the way firearms-disabling criminal history data is sent to the NICS from the Pennsylvania CCHRI. The processing change will only update records that have been changed instead of cancelling the entire entry and re-adding it along with other records for the same individual which were not updated. The project will greatly reduce the volume of messages coming from CCHRI to the NICS, which have resulted in backlogs to the NICS system. 4) Rejected Fingerprint Submissions: NCHIP funds will support overtime for PSP staff to process Machine Readable Reports (MRDs) which consist of 42,314 prints comprised of arrest prints submitted to the FBI that have been rejected due to poor quality. Each MRD report consists of an Offense Tracking Number and the Date of Arrest. These fingerprint arrest cards were electronically submitted to the FBI for database submission but were subsequently rejected. 5) Technical Training for Justice System Personnel: NCHIP funds will provide training to the police, central booking center personnel and district courts. For the police, an informational brochure will be created and mailed to all PDs and booking centers. A new online E-learning course on the policies and procedures for creating the electronic criminal complaint will be supported and an updated training manual for central booking centers will be created. Additionally, 8 on-site regional training sessions will be held to review the revised procedures related to the electronic filing process. (CA/NCF)

Date Created: September 19, 2019