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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 2020, $2,182,968)

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 2020 NCHIP priority areas, the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) will conduct three projects: 1) Data Redundancy and Continued Record Submission; 2) Pennsylvania Access to Criminal History (PATCH) upgrade; and 3) DNA Fingerprint Automation

1) Data Redundancy and Continued Record Submission project: PCCD will use funds to support the procurement of equipment by the PA Office of Administration/Office of Information Technology to subaward funds to identified vendors. The secondary shared network connection will support an active/passive failover configuration that enables the consistent and efficient collection of justice system records at the state and national levels. The secondary connection will provide a critical connectivity building block to enable agencies to build out Disaster Recovery solutions on an application-by-application basis that would otherwise be ineffective in the event of loss of connectivity to the initial connection, the Commonwealth Technology Center (CTC). In addition, the potential loss of connection to the initial connection would prevent the submission of justice records to the state criminal history repository, NCIC, and the NICS Indices.

2) PATCH upgrade: funds will be used to provide an update to the public facing website, PATCH, to ensure the codes match the current criminal history record. The upgrade will allow web service compatibility with all common internet browsers and be auto configurable to the multitude of mobile devices used to access a person’s criminal records. The Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) uses an electronic process when receiving dispositions from the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts (AOPC). Updating the PATCH website with the proper codes and allowing access with mobile device compatibility, will increase the efficiency of disposition reporting on the commonwealth and federal records systems, including the NICS Indices.

3) DNA Fingerprint Automation: PSP will use funds to hire a vendor to develop a new Type of Transaction (TOT) for the DNA prints and upgrade all Livescans with the new code. In December 2019, new legislation occurred that expanded DNA fingerprint samples to include those individuals convicted of a misdemeanor of the first degree and 15 misdemeanors of the second degree. The PSP estimates an additional 40,000 offenders yearly with qualifying misdemeanors. Currently, those new requirements are manually obtained and mailed to PSP which are then mailed to the PSP Fingerprint Identification Section for additional processing to ensure the criminal history record information is accurate. The automation of these new requirements will increase the number of updated criminal history records in a more efficient manner.

Date Created: November 12, 2020