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Everything You Need to Know About NCHIP 2020

NCHIP 2020 Hero

What is NCHIP?

NCHIP (National Criminal History Information Program) is a grant administered by the Bureau of Justice (BJS). For the past 25 years, the BJS has provided direct awards and technical assistance to states and localities to improve the quality, timeliness, and immediate accessibility of criminal history records and related information. Complete records require that data from all components of the criminal justice system be integrated and linked, including law enforcement, prosecutors, courts, and corrections.

Who is eligible for the NCHIP grant?

Eligible applicants are limited to the agency designated by the governor in each state to administer the NCHIP (34 U.S.C. § 40301) and federally recognized Indian tribal governments (as determined by the Secretary of the Interior). Find your designated agency at https://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=tp&tid=471#Contacts

What types of services does it cover?

This grant program aims to improve the nation’s safety and security by enhancing the quality, completeness, and accessibility of criminal history record information; and by ensuring the nationwide implementation of criminal justice and non-criminal justice background check systems. There are too many to include here, but some examples include

  • Updating and automating case outcomes from courts and prosecutors in state or tribal records and the FBI’s Criminal History File.
  • Converting manual or other non-automated criminal history records to electronic records.
  • Instituting programming or operational changes in records management necessary to comply with the requirements for NICS record-keeping and reporting the status of transactions.
  • Convert hardcopy disposition forms to electronic records in compliance with industry regulations.
  • Improving Dispositions and Mental Health Submissions Accessible to NICS.
  • Updating and automating case outcomes from courts and prosecutors in state or tribal records and the FBI’s Criminal History File.
  • Implementing or upgrading state, local, or tribal court record systems that facilitate immediate identification of disposition records, provided that the records are accessible for criminal history record inquiries at the state and national levels.
  • Implementing improved criminal history information capture procedures, including complete arrest reporting and researching missing dispositions, provided that the captured data are subsequently included in relevant state and federal files.
  • Capturing complete data from prosecutors and courts on domestic violence misdemeanor convictions.

You can visit https://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=tp&tid=471#Activities for a complete summary of the 2018 awards, including details regarding the specific projects the various states implemented.

When is the grant solicitation released?

The NCHIP grant has consistently been released in Q1 (January – March).

How can I find the solicitation?

There’s very little change in the program goals from year to year. You can download a copy of the FY 2019 NCHIP solicitation at https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/nchip19_sol.pdf. We will also include an announcement on our website when the solicitation is released.  If you would like to be notified, please complete the contact form and we’ll keep you in the loop!

How can we help?

We are highly familiar with public safety records such as arrests, incidents, and criminal and civil court documents and have completed these projects for agencies utilizing the NCHIP grant funding. Our standard processes for handling all law enforcement and public safety documents are compliant with the most current version of the Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Security Policy Version 5.8 06/01/2019. We provide digital conversion and ancillary record improvement services both on-site at our CJIS-compliant facility and on-site at various agencies when needed.

Where do we start?

A good place to start is identifying your project needs. We can assist you with providing an assessment and budget for your records projects that align with the goals of the NCHIP grant. We are CJIS subject matter experts and have worked with many other public safety agencies through this digitization process.


Additional Information

NCHIP (National Criminal History Improvement Program) assists states to meets the needs of all components.  We compiled a few examples of converting hard copy to electronic format from the states that participated in FY2018

ALABAMA
Convert hardcopy disposition forms to electronic records within the state

ALASKA
Digitize paper criminal history records to improve the accuracy and availability of records for information requests. Currently, the majority of Alaska’s criminal history records are physical and often cannot be provided within the three-day holding period before a firearm transaction proceeds. As a result, there is a significant gap in accessing reported information and creates an opportunity for a lapse in a person’s ability to legally acquire a firearm. DPS will use contactor services to digitize the paper criminal history records that they hold

ARIZONA
The Chandler Police Department (PD) will complete a Records Information conversion project to convert to digital format approximately 1,800,000 paper documents for the years 1968-2001 to ensure they are readily available for background checks.

GUAM
Backlog of Court Disposition and Criminal History Records. The Judiciary has a large volume of un-entered cases going back several decades and in order to protect these paper records from decay, and to ensure that all case data is digitized for easy access and are cataloged and entered into the Judiciary’s Case Management System

MICHIGAN
Enhancements will transition prosecutors’ offices to a paperless environment and ensure the consistency of captured data.

PENNSYLVANIA
PSP will use overtime to convert approximately 475,000 fingerprint records to electronic files. The current process of PSP staff manually locating the individual criminal paper jacket and scanning fingerprints into AFIS is time-consuming and ineffective. The project will scan the remaining two fingerprint records to ensure they are complete and meet the 20-fingerprint standard which will then be available to NICS. The overtime support will eliminate the backlog and make the records accessible and available on a state and national level.

SOUTH CAROLINA
The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) will use funds to conduct multiple projects that build off of previous years’ efforts. SLED will continue to support efforts to manage and reduce the backlog of expungement, missing disposition and scanning records


NCHIP By the Numbers

The NCHIP solicitation continues to focus on assisting states and tribes with finding ways to make more records available to NICS, including records in the NCIC, criminal history record information available through the III, and records in the NICS Indices. Therefore, through the funded activities, BJS expects that more records (including improved quality, completeness, and timeliness) will become available in these systems.

The below NCHIP Awards by Jurisdiction FY 1995-2018 detail was taken from the Bureau of Justice website. What’s most interesting is that many states go years without participating in this program leaving millions of dollars on the table.  It’s likely that this is due to turnover in personnel who may be responsible for administering the grant, or because local public safety agencies are unaware of the opportunity. We encourage our clients to reach out to their designated agency and inquire about potential projects that align with the goals of the NCHIP grant. If you need more information on who to talk to, contact us or give us a call at 1-800-696-3453 and we’ll point you in the right direction.

NCHIP State by State Grants