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Estimating the Impact of AFIS (Automated Fingerprint Identification) in Kentucky

NCJ Number
Date Published
June 1990
Kentucky implemented an Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) in 1988. The system, operated by the State Police, is designed to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of criminal investigations by classifying, matching, storing, and retrieving fingerprints.

An evaluation of the impact of AFIS on criminal investigation and identification over the first 20 months of operation indicated that the impact was minimal. AFIS averaged less than three suspect fingerprint matches per month, 85 percent of which related to burglary cases. However, the matches have resulted in arrests and warrant issuances, and AFIS has the potential to impact on the courts and correctional system through an increase in arrests. The author maintains that AFIS utilization and effectiveness can be increased through continued efforts to increase awareness of AFIS among law enforcement officers, efforts to improve the quality of AFIS data, more efficient AFIS operational policies, improved training in print collection and processing, formation of an AFIS oversight committee, and enhanced evaluation methods. 6 tables, 1 note, and 31 references

Date Published: June 1, 1990