Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2020, $1,374,733)
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 20 NCHIP project, the West Virginia Division of Justice and Community Services will subaward funds to the WV Supreme Court of Appeals and the WV State Police.
Under the WV Supreme Court of Appeals (WVSCA) and the WV State Police (WVSP) sub-awards, the sub-awardees will collaborate and use federal funds to reduce the backlog that has existed related to dispositions. Although the Court and the WVSP have developed processes to prioritize and timely address domestic violence convictions, there is currently a several-year backlog of Court Disposition Reporting forms (CDR or CDRs) awaiting entry into the repository. As of December 2019, there were 39,042 CDRs awaiting entry into the system with a total of 317,886 missing dispositions on these backlogged CDRs. In 2018, the WVSP reported that 30% of criminal history files in the repository are non-automated and, therefore, not immediately accessible for background checks. The backlog is the result of limited staffing at the CIB to process incoming disposition forms submitted by court clerks and additional dispositions provided by personnel who work on this project. Incomplete record information is a primary concern because of the increased utilization of criminal history records for criminal justice, non-criminal justice, and homeland security needs. Further, the lack of interfaces to support automated intrastate information sharing (i.e., between the courts, prosecutors, corrections, and the CIB) is a related challenge. The connection between the states repository and the federal systems is established; however, seamless transfers of electronic information from law enforcement, courts, and prosecutors to the CIB are imperative for the future success of the project. Staff of the WVSCA and the WVSP committed to automation being WVs primary priority in 2019. Analysis and planning revealed that there are between 450-600 dispositions in magistrate courts in WV each day, in addition to all felony dispositions, that are adding to the state backlog. Work has begun to automate the disposition process for felony convictions, felony indictments, fugitives from justice, drug convictions, and misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence. (CA/NCF)