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Computerized Mental Health Registry (MHR) Update and Data Flow Modernization: Phase 4

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2016, $509,176)

The NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007, Pub. L. 110-180 ("NICS Improvement Act"), was signed into law by the President on January 8, 2008. The NICS Improvement Act amends the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993 ("the Brady Act") (Pub. L. 103-159), under which the Attorney General established the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). The Brady Act requires Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs) to contact the NICS before transferring a firearm to an unlicensed person for information on whether the proposed transferee is prohibited from receiving or possessing a firearm under state or federal law. The NICS Improvement Act authorizes grants to be made in a manner consistent with the National Criminal History Improvement Program (NCHIP).

The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) seeks funding for phase IV of improving the state’s Computerized Criminal History (CCH) system to provide the FBI, state, local, and federal law enforcement agencies, and other criminal justice agencies with accurate and up-to-date information directly related to NICS checks. Manual matching of criminal history data has resulted in a major backlog of historical criminal history information in Alabama. Phases I and II established the central data repository for mental health data and set forth a standard for the electronic submission of the data to the central repository. Phase III currently involves establishing an alternative submission method for Probate Judges who have systems that cannot interface with the new repository due to the age of their legacy systems. Similarly, phase III of the domestic violence data processing component is addressing issues with legacy municipal systems that are not able to upload the data standards that were set forth in previous project phases. In addition, phase III is focusing on the issue of automating the vast amount of backlogged historical data into the CCH.

Funds from the FY 2016 NARIP program will be used to conduct phase IV of the mental health data project. Tasks will include expanding the capabilities of the Alabama Records Transmission of Involuntary Commitments (ARTIC) portal by replacing the aging IT infrastructure of the Mental Health Repository and supporting bug fixes and enhancements within ARTIC. Continued support for the ARTIC portal is critical to keeping the mental health data flowing from the local offices to ALEA. Funds are also being requested to hire two employees to manually process NICS checks inquiries when someone applies for a gun permit.

Phase IV of the mental health data project will be completed with ALEA as the primary agency providing leadership and subject matter expertise and the University of Alabama Center for Advanced Public Safety (UA-CAPS) as the technology partner. UA-CAPS is a research and development center within the University of Alabama, which is a State of Alabama agency that has partnered with ALEA for many years in the development of criminal justice information sharing tools in Alabama. ALEA and UA-CAPS have entered into an agreement for the development of software applications systems and support related to this project. (CA/NCF)

Date Created: September 12, 2016