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Justice Department Awards Over $42 Million to Improve Criminal History Records

Funds Enhance Identification of Ineligible Gun Purchasers and Sex Offenders

WASHINGTON, Aug. 20—The Justice Department today is awarding more than $42 million to 55 states and territories to continue automating and improving the quality of criminal history records, which can help law enforcement with background checks for guns and other purposes. The awards mark the fifth year of funding under the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) National Criminal History Improvement Program (NCHIP), which has provided over $273 million to states and territories since 1995.

"This nation's system of background checks for gun purchases has already blocked more than 400,000 gun sales to ineligible persons," said Attorney General Janet Reno. "These grants will help us continue to make America safer by keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and others who should not have them."

Criminal history records are fingerprint cards or their electronic counterparts, linked with information about arrests, convictions, and sentences. NCHIP funds are used to modernize and automate criminal history records systems and sex offender registries. One of the primary purposes for FY 1999 NCHIP funds is to ensure that records of arrests also include information on the disposition of the cases. Dispositions showing a conviction are needed to prevent the sale of a firearm.

Complete, accurate, and accessible criminal history records permit law enforcement officials to know if individuals questioned or detained have criminal histories and help courts avoid granting bail to individuals who may pose a danger to the community. Criminal history records are also vital for screening individuals for positions of trust where they have access to children, the elderly or disabled individuals. Records systems also identify persons with a criminal history of domestic violence and stalking subject to protection orders, as well as persons with a history of sex offenses.

NCHIP grants are made to state agencies designated by the governor. The agencies then may allocate funds to state criminal identification bureaus, courts, and other agencies that maintain information about arrests and dispositions of criminal cases. Award amounts are determined by the condition of the state's records, the purposes for which funds were requested, and the impact that improvements will have on the availability of records throughout the national system.

All 50 states applied for and received an FY 1999 NCHIP award. The attached chart includes the amount of each award, the agency within the state that will receive the funds, and a state contact. Funds awarded to support enhancement of state sex offender registries are included in the NCHIP total.

More information on BJS, including statistics on background checks for gun purchases, is available through the BJS Website at BJS is a component of the Office of Justice Programs, which provides information on criminal justice programs and research at

                                                                TOTAL NCHIP
    RECIPIENT           RECIPIENT          STATE      FY 1999        AWARDS
                           AGENCY        CONTACT        AWARD       TO DATE

    Alabama      Criminal Justice        Therese     $750,000    $3,127,103
              Information Center,          Ford,
                   Montgomery, AL   205/242-4900

    Alaska          Department of          Diane     $720,000    $3,456,318
                   Public Safety,      Schenker,
                    Anchorage, AK   907/269-5092

     Samoa          Department of     Tasi Mauga     $400,000      $800,000
                   Public Safety,   684/633-2827
                    Pago Pago, AS

    Arizona      Criminal Justice      Gerald E.     $559,672    $3,888,988
                      Commission,         Hardt,
                      Phoenix, AZ  602/230-0252,

    Arkansas    Crime Information          Larry     $555,752    $2,976,857
                          Center,      Cockrell,
                  Little Rock, AR   501/682-2222

    California      Department of   Gary Cooper,  $2,670,180*   $22,895,722
                  Justice, Bureau   916/227-3857
                      of Criminal
                 and Information,
                   Sacramento, CA

    Colorado        Department of    Lance Clem,     $599,402    $3,528,113
                   Public Safety,   303/239-4442
                      Division of
                Criminal Justice,
                       Denver, CO

    Connecticut         Office of      Theron A.     $520,000    $4,117,968
                       Policy and       Schnure,
                      Management,   860/418-6416
                     Hartford, CT

    Delaware      State Bureau of    Capt. David     $521,560    $3,130,837
                  Identification,        Deputy,
                      Division of   302/739-5872
                    State Police,
                        Dover, DE

    District of
     Columbia        Metropolitan           Mark     $278,288    $1,525,807
               Police Department,      Brinkman,
                   Washington, DC   202/727-1914

    Florida         Department of        Clayton   $2,496,500    $9,373,486
               Community Affairs,        Wilder,
                  Tallahassee, FL   904/488-8016

    Georgia     Crime Information  Bill Holland,   $1,778,528    $6,143,349
                          Center,   404/244-2775
                      Decatur, GA

     *Funds for the California Sex Offender Registry will be awarded later.
    Guam          Superior Court,     Jacqueline     $399,796      $799,796
                      Hagatna, GU        Zahnen,

    Hawaii       Criminal Justice          Liane     $520,000    $2,967,125
                     Data Center,      Moriyama,
                     Honolulu, HI   808/587-3110

    Idaho           Department of         Robert     $275,289    $1,554,561
                 Law Enforcement,        Taylor,
                     Meridian, ID   208/884-7133

    Illinois     Criminal Justice  Candice Kane,   $1,300,000   $10,372,000
                      Information   312/793-8550
                      Chicago, IL

    Indiana      Criminal Justice          Kevin     $780,000    $5,022,273
                       Institute,     Sifferlen,
                 Indianapolis, IN   317/232-1233

    Iowa            Department of  Tim McDonald,     $358,318    $2,783,525
                   Public Safety,   515/281-5138
                   Des Moines, IA

    Kansas       Criminal Justice        Barbara     $480,000    $2,932,319
                     Coordinating         Tombs,
                         Council,   913/296-0923
                       Topeka, KS

    Kentucky     Justice Cabinet,     Kim Allen,     $519,000    $3,984,961
                    Frankfort, KY   502/564-3251

    Louisiana       Commission on          Carle     $739,314    $3,903,751
              Law Enforcement and       Jackson,
            the Administration of   504/925-4429
                Criminal Justice,
                  Baton Rouge, LA

    Maine               Bureau of   Maj. Jeffrey     $520,000    $4,131,166
                    State Police,        Harmon,
                      Augusta, ME   207/624-7062

    Maryland        Department of        Barbara     $770,000    $4,630,000
                Public Safety and          King,
                     Correctional   410/764-4375
                       Towson, MD

    Massachusetts    Committee on        Michael   $1,100,000    $8,275,250
                Criminal Justice,       O'Toole,
                       Boston, MA  617/727-6300,

    Michigan        Department of  David Turner,   $1,015,365    $7,151,290
                    State Police,   517/322-1424
                      Lansing, MI

    Minnesota           Bureau of          Karen     $516,089    $4,256,989
                         Criminal      McDonald,
                    Apprehension,   612/642-0687
                     St. Paul, MN

    Mississippi     Department of    Will Spann,     $666,543    $3,748,079
                   Public Safety,   601/933-2604
                      Jackson, MS

    Missouri        State Highway     Lt. Robert     $644,403    $5,172,515
                          Patrol,    E. Gartner,
               Jefferson City, MO   573/526-6160

    Montana        Board of Crime         Thomas     $520,000    $2,574,486
                         Control,        Murphy,
                       Helena, MT   406/444-4298

    Nebraska        State Patrol,        Jeannie     $557,080    $3,037,053
                      Lincoln, NE          Kohl,

    Nevada              Office of    Sandy Mazy,     $810,000    $2,500,000
                 Criminal Justice   775/687-4166
                  Carson City, NV

     Hampshire      Office of the        Mark C.     $520,000    $3,566,713
                Attorney General,      Thompson,
                      Concord, NH   603/271-3658

    New Jersey      Department of      Steven C.   $1,170,000    $6,700,533
                   Law and Public        Talpas,
                          Safety,   609/984-0634
                      Trenton, NJ

    New Mexico      Department of          Irene     $559,950    $4,596,416
                   Public Safety,      Trujillo,
                     Santa Fe, NM   505/827-9185

    New York   Integrated Systems       James F.   $2,090,000   $17,472,269
                Development Unit,          Shea,
                      Division of   518/457-6075
                 Criminal Justice
                       Albany, NY

     Carolina    Governor's Crime           Doug     $610,003    $4,807,653
                      Commission,      Yearwood,
                      Raleigh, NC   919/571-4736

    North Dakota        Bureau of      Robert J.     $520,000    $2,931,218
                         Criminal        Helten,
                   Investigation,   701/328-5500
                     Bismarck, ND

    Ohio                Office of   John Bender,   $1,090,000    $9,456,526
                 Criminal Justice   614/466-7782
                     Columbus, OH

    Oklahoma   District Attorneys       Louietta     $602,681    $2,628,198
                         Council,         Jones,
                Oklahoma City, OK   405/557-6707

    Oregon          Department of       Beverlee     $527,000    $3,678,348
                    State Police,        Venell,
                        Salem, OR  503/378-3720,
    Pennsylvania    Commission on  James Thomas,   $1,220,000   $11,395,537
                        Crime and   717/787-2040
                   Harrisburg, PA

    Puerto Rico  Criminal Justice        Alfonso     $469,714      $812,436
              Information Systems      Golderos,
                           Office   787/729-2121
                     San Juan, PR

     Island    Governor's Justice           Gina     $415,300    $1,845,294
                      Commission,       Caruolo,
                   Providence, RI   401/277-4499

     Carolina     Law Enforcement      Maj. Mark     $925,890    $5,266,593
                        Division,       Huguley,
                     Columbia, SC   803/896-7142

    South Dakota    Office of the           Judi     $330,741    $2,012,211
                Attorney General,     Schneider,
                      Division of   605/773-4614
                       Pierre, SD

    Tennessee       Department of       Patricia     $738,832    $4,166,817
                      Finance and       Dishman,
                  Administration,   615/741-8277
                    Nashville, TN

    Texas        Criminal Justice   Gene Draper,   $2,500,000   $17,246,300
                  Policy Council,   512/463-1810
                       Austin, TX

    Utah            Commission on        Richard     $555,472    $3,073,085
                     Criminal and      Ziebarth,
                Juvenile Justice,   801/538-1812
               Salt Lake City, UT

    Vermont         Department of  Philip Colby,     $513,375    $4,514,810
                   Public Safety,   802/244-8786
                 Criminal Justice
                 Systems Division
                    Waterbury, VT

     Islands      Law Enforcement         Helene     $203,157      $203,157
             Planning Commission,       Smolett,
                   St. Thomas, VI   340/774-6400

    Virginia        State Police,       Lt. Col.     $924,021    $6,507,577
                     Richmond, VA       Harry M.

    Washington          Office of           Gary     $689,000    $5,111,682
                        Financial      Robinson,
                      Management,   360/902-0593
                      Olympia, WA

     Virginia       Department of        Michael     $518,876    $3,384,564
                 Military Affairs        Cutlip,
               and Public Safety,   304/558-8814
                   Charleston, WV

    Wisconsin           Office of        Stephen     $730,000    $5,267,700
              Justice Assistance,      Grohmann,
                      Madison, WI   608/266-7185

    Wyoming           Division of          James      $50,016    $1,052,389
                         Criminal        Wilson,
                   Investigation,   307/777-7523
                     Cheyenne, WY

    TOTAL                                         $42,815,107  $273,153,201

    * OJP and its component agencies' press releases are available for use
without restriction.

BJS 99156

SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics

CONTACT: Office of Justice Programs, Office of Congressional and Public Affairs, 202-307-0703, or after-hours, Doug Johnson, 888-491-4487

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