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FY 2017 National Criminal History Improvement Program (NCHIP)

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2017, $3,600,000)

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 2017 NCHIP award, the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS) will use funds to conduct the Maryland Automated Fingerprint Identification System (MAFIS) Upgrade. The existing MAFIS software and hardware are outdated, and in need of replacement with newer, more reliable solutions and components. The DepartmentÂ’s Information Technology and Communications Division (ITCD) has recommended replacing its aging infrastructure with advanced technology.

The MAFIS, fundamental to the success of NCHIP, is a dedicated online computer system accessible through AFIS workstations. One of the unique functions of MAFIS is its ability to compare fingerprints against its database and identify possible matches. MAFIS affords State Fingerprint Identification Examiners and Specialists the abilities to acquire, digitize, apply quality control procedures to bad images/prints, launch searches against the system database containing millions of fingerprints records, verify search results and declare hit or no hit, a task that would otherwise take many years to accomplish.

Maryland began electronic fingerprint submission and processing in 1995 with the advent of the Arrest Booking System (ABS). The MAFIS operation involves the processing of fingerprint cards from the Arrest Booking System (ABS), non-ABS hardcopy cards such as manual criminal, applicant and juvenile records, and Network Livescan records. MAFIS automates several CJIS processes and remote State Latent Fingerprint Identification Examiners and Specialists workflows. This system captures arrest and booking process information and offender data.

The upgrade will provide higher accuracy and increased efficiency. Along with the upgraded infrastructure, MAFIS is looking to renew its warranty support for critical components. The MAFIS system is in its ninth (9th) year of operation, and requires modernizing to replace legacy operating system software and server hardware, and to accommodate the continued growth of the identification databases and system workloads. The MD DPSCS will be responsible for contributing a 10% match under the 2017 NCHIP grant.


Date Created: September 19, 2017