BJS: Bureau of Justice Statistics

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Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)
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WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 17, 2018                                                CONTACT: TANNYR WATKINS
WWW.BJS.GOV (202) 616-5179
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WASHINGTON — The Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics (a component of the Office of Justice Programs) today announced that it has awarded more than $64 million to state agencies for Fiscal Year 2018 to improve the completeness, quality and accessibility of the nation's criminal record systems.

Of this amount, approximately $43 million is provided under the Department's National Criminal History Improvement Program (NCHIP). NCHIP aims to improve the nation's safety and security by ensuring the nationwide implementation of effective background check systems.

NCHIP funding helps states automate and upgrade records made available to systems administered by the FBI, including the Interstate Identification Index, the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) and the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) indices on persons attempting to purchase firearms from individuals licensed by ATF to engage in the business of firearms.

"Our nation's collective ability to detect threats and prevent crime depends in large measure on the quality and completeness of the criminal history information available to our public safety professionals," said BJS Director Jeffrey H. Anderson. "These awards will help states shore up their record-keeping systems, improve the quality of the criminal history data they make available to federal databases and allow law enforcement and court officials to make timely and informed decisions about matters that affect community safety."

Nearly $21 million has been awarded under the NICS Act Record Improvement Program (NARIP). NARIP was developed to improve the completeness, automation and transmission of records to state and federal systems used by the NICS. The NICS supports more than 25 million firearm-related background checks annually. Such records include felony convictions, warrants, protective orders, convictions for misdemeanors involving domestic violence and stalking, drug arrests and convictions, mental health adjudications, and other information that may disqualify an individual from possessing or receiving a firearm under federal law. Helping states, state court systems and tribes to automate these records will also reduce delays for law-abiding gun purchasers.

The NCHIP program was initiated in 1995, and awards are made annually on a competitive basis to states, territories and federally recognized tribes. Awards are made to the agency designated by the governor in each state to administer the NCHIP program, and award amounts are based on need rather than population or other formula-based methodology.

The Bureau of Justice Statistics of the U.S. Department of Justice is the principal federal agency responsible for collecting, analyzing and disseminating reliable statistics on crime and criminal-justice systems in the United States. Jeffrey H. Anderson is director.

For additional information about the Bureau of Justice Statistics programs, visit

The Office of Justice Programs, headed by Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Matt M. Dummermuth, provides federal leadership in developing the nation's capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice and assist victims. OJP has six bureaus and offices: the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; the Office for Victims of Crime; and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering and Tracking (SMART). More information about OJP and its components can be found at



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