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An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.


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An acronym for Customs and Border Protection, was established May 1, 2003 to combine the inspectional workforces and broad border authorities of the U.S. Customs Service, U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), the U.S. Border Patrol, and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. CBP is tasked with stopping terrorists, terrorist weapons, illegal drugs, aliens, and materials harmful to agriculture from entering at, or between, ports of entry.

Central repository

The database (or the agency housing the database) that maintains criminal history records on all state offenders. Records include fingerprint files and files containing identification segments and notations of arrests and dispositions. The central repository is generally responsible for state-level identification of arrestees, and commonly serves as the central control terminal for contact with FBI record systems. Inquiries from local agencies for a national record check (for criminal justice or firearm check purposes) are routed to the FBI via the central repository. Although usually housed in the Department of Public Safety, the central repository may be maintained in some states by the state police or some other state agency.


An organization that works with the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (CERT) and the private sector. CERT C.C. studies computer and network security in order to provide incident response services to victims of attacks, publish alerts concerning vulnerabilities and threats, and offer information to help improve computer and network security.

Chemical agents

A chemical compound that has deleterious effects on human health. There are a number of different types of chemical agents, and a range of uses for these compounds, from crowd control to chemical warfare.


CODIS is an acronym for Combined DNA Index System, which is a computer software program that operates local, state, and national databases of DNA profiles from convicted offenders, unsolved crime scene evidence, and missing persons.

Collection year

The set of victimizations reported to the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) in interviews conducted during the same calendar year. This set may include victimizations that occurred in the previous calendar year, due to the retrospective nature of the NCVS interview. Collection year data are used in tables beginning in 1996. See "Data year."

Commercial crimes

Crimes against commercial establishments of any type are not included in the survey. Commercial establishments include stores, restaurants, businesses, service stations, medical offices or hospitals, or other similar establishments. For victimizations occurring in commercial establishments, the crime is included or not included depending on whether the survey respondent was threatened or harmed in some way or personal property was taken.

Community corrections

The supervision of criminal offenders in the resident population, as opposed to confining offenders in secure correctional facilities. The two main types of community corrections supervision are probation and parole. Community corrections is also referred to as community supervision.

Community policing

A philosophy promoting organizational strategies that support the systematic use of partnerships and problem-solving techniques between the police and the community. These strategies proactively address the immediate conditions that give rise to public safety issues, such as crime, social disorder, and fear of crime. For more information about community policing, please visit the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) website.

Computer virus

A hidden fragment of computer code which propagates by inserting itself into or modifying other programs. Includes viruses, worms, and Trojan horses. Excludes spyware, adware, and other malware.

Conditional release violators

Readmission to prison of persons released to discretionary parole, mandatory parole, post-custody probation, and other unspecified conditional releases.

Conditional releases

Includes discretionary parole, mandatory parole, post-custody probation, and other unspecified conditional releases.

Confidence intervals

Confidence intervals are another measure of the margin of error. A confidence interval around the estimate can be generated by multiplying the standard errors by ±1.96 (the t-score of a normal, two-tailed distribution that excludes 2.5% at either end of the distribution). Therefore, the 95% confidence interval around an estimate is the estimate ± (the standard error X 1.96). In other words, if different samples using the same procedures were taken from the U.S. population, 95% of the time the estimate would fall within that confidence interval.

Consent search

Search made by United States law enforcement personnel based on the consent of the individual whose person or property is being searched. No warrant or probable cause is required to perform a search if a person with the proper authority permits, approves, or agrees to a search. A consent search requires the individual whose person or property is being searched to freely and voluntarily waive his or her Fourth Amendment rights, granting the officer permission to perform the search.

Contract attorneys

Nonsalaried private attorneys, bar associations, law firms, consortiums or groups of attorneys, or nonprofit corporations that contract with a funding source to provide court-appointed representation in a jurisdiction.

Contract cases (contracts)

Cases that include all allegations of breach of contract.

Court security

An integrated approach to the judicial process that ensures the integrity and safety of the court system and its participants. This is achieved by effectively evaluating, planning, and pro-actively managing threats and potential threats directed toward the court system.

Crime category

Refers to personal victimizations (rape/sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, simple assault, and personal theft/larceny) or property victimizations (burglary, trespassing, motor vehicle theft, and other theft).

Crime classification

Victimizations and incidents are classified based on detailed characteristics of the event provided by the respondent. Neither victims nor interviewers classify crimes at the time of interview. During data processing, a computer program classifies each event into one type of crime, based on the entries on a number of items on the survey questionnaire. This ensures that similar events will be classified using a standard procedure. The glossary definition for each crime indicates the major characteristics required to be so classified. If an event can be classified as more than one type of crime, a hierarchy is used that classifies the crime according to the most serious event that occurred. The hierarchy from highest to lowest is rape, sexual assault, robbery, assault, burglary/trespassing, motor vehicle theft, and theft.

Crime laboratories

A scientific laboratory (with at least one full-time natural scientist) that examines physical evidence in criminal matters and provides reports and opinion testimony with respect to such physical evidence in courts of law.

Criminal History Record Information (CHRI) or Criminal History Record Information System

A record (or the system maintaining such records) that includes individual identifiers and describes an individual's arrests and subsequent dispositions. Criminal history records do not include intelligence or investigative data or sociological data, such as drug use history. CHRI systems usually include information on juveniles if they are tried as adults in criminal courts. Most, however, do not include data describing involvement of an individual in the juvenile justice system. All data in CHRI systems are usually backed by fingerprints of the record subjects to provide positive identification. State legislation varies concerning disclosure of criminal history records for noncriminal justice purposes.

Criminal Justice Information Services Advisory Policy Board (APB)

Successor to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) APB, the CJIS APB is comprised of 30 criminal justice officials who provide policy input to guide the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the administration of its CJIS Division. The CJIS Division administers the NCIC, the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS), and other information system programs determined by the FBI director to have some relationship with these programs.

Cross deputization agreements

Allow law enforcement personnel from state and tribal entities to cross jurisdictions in criminal cases. Cross deputization agreements have been used to enhance law enforcement capabilities in areas where state and tribal lands were contiguous and intermingled. Under some agreements, federal, state, county/local, and/or tribal law enforcement officers have the power to arrest Indian and non-Indian wrongdoers wherever the violation of law occurs.


Prisoners held in the physical custody of state or federal prisons or local jails, regardless of sentence length or authority that has jurisdiction.