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Pennsylvania Criminal History System Improvement

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2019, $6,589,444)

6) Pennsylvania has 1200 police departments that employ over 25,000 officers. Pennsylvania’s Criminal History Record Information Act requires that when an arrest is made fingerprints and charges are sent to PSP. A portion of the Pennsylvania plan to improve both the quantity and quality of criminal history records has historically been supported by training. This training has been supported by the PCPA Pennsylvania Virtual Training Network (PAVTN). While the pandemic cancelled in-person trainings related to fingerprint and record collection, it did create opportunities to learn how to continue to promote this content in the virtual world. During the pandemic, presentations were held virtually, and most were recorded for later play back and made available to training participants. During the virtual trainings, it was noted that an increased number of new attendees, minimal technical problems were recorded, and the reviews received were more positive when compared to live trainings held in the past. Requested funds for this project will support the addition of new virtual and remote training designs and elements to expand the learning opportunities for attendees through livestreaming and recording portions of the sessions. Training content will include issues and training covering criminal records, fingerprinting and forensics. The recordings will be used in the PAVTN as part of online trainings and available for download on the PCPA web site. A sub award of $98,400 will be provided to the PCPA to support staff and consultants for the development of the virtual course content. 7) Currently, PSP does not have the ability to conduct a Pennsylvania fingerprint-based criminal background check for childcare staff members. Of the options to fulfill this federal mandate, PSP has decided the most cost-effective method would be to initiate an in-state fingerprint-based criminal background check in conjunction with the existing name-based check Pennsylvania Access to Criminal History (PATCH) system. The primary solution would require a vendor to collect the fingerprints and forward them to PSP AFIS for review. PSP uses an electronic process when receiving dispositions from the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts (AOPC). While most of the updates occur without issues there are arrests that do not get updated due to a difference in the information from AOPC and PSP. Those records that are not automatically updated get updated manually by PSP. If a fingerprint-based PATCH check would be received, and a record check review is conducted, the updated information is manually added to the Computerized Criminal History (CCH). Providing additional ways for requestors to receive their PA criminal history check, increases the number of times PSP will update records with the proper dispositions. A proper disposition in CCH ensures that proper decisions can be made for a PICS check, employment background checks for older adults are validated, and the safety of children and the disabled is achieved. A sub award of $80,000 will be provided to PSP to support the competitive selection of a qualified vendor to collect the fingerprints and forward them to PSP AFIS. Additionally, PSP staff and IT personnel will provide a $175,000 in-kind match to support this project

Date Created: September 19, 2019