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Improving Criminal History Record Quality and Completeness

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2019, $700,000)

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 2019 NCHIP priority areas, the Iowa Department of Public Safety (DPS) will use NCHIP funds to assist in the replacement of the state’s current criminal history system. By replacing the aging system, the DPS will be able to maintain past improvements in criminal history record quality and availability while implementing new digital workflows used to apply manual disposition information more quickly and eliminate considerable data entry that is subject to human error. By reducing the time lapse in applying these manual dispositions, Iowa’s records will be more timely, accurate and available to the NICS program resulting in improved screening of potential firearms purchasers. The DPS will also be able to implement a process of continual data quality review through a dashboard approach. Upon implementation, the DPS will monitor numerous data points in the criminal history record system to identify any anomalies or other issues that could affect record quality through changes in data submission patterns from Iowa law enforcement agencies, prosecutors or the courts. The DPS is focused on improving the overall quality of Iowa’s criminal history records with an emphasis on improved disposition application to records. The project will further improve the quality of records through the implementation of a data quality dashboard that will use analytics to allow the DPS to monitor criminal history data submissions and address any identified shortcomings.


Date Created: September 19, 2019