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Publication Improving Criminal History Records for Background Checks, 2005

Gerard F. Ramker, Bureau of Justice Statistics

July 1, 2006    NCJ 211485

Describes the achievements of the National Criminal History Improvement Program (NCHIP), its authorizing legislation, and program history. This program report summarizes NCHIP-funded criminal record improvement efforts, including improved accessibility of records, full participation in the Interstate Identification Index, the automation of records and fingerprint data, and improvements in the National Instant Criminal Background Check, National Sex Offender Registry, and domestic violence and protection order systems. The report provides examples of projects aimed at enhancing the involvement of the courts and system integration in improving disposition reporting. The report also discusses the Bureau of Justice Statistics efforts to improve performance measurement including the development and use of a Records Quality Index.


  • At the end of 2003, States held approximately 71 million criminal records on individuals.
  • As of December 2005, 48 States belonged to the Interstate Identification Index (III), meeting the FBIs rigorous standards for participation.
  • The National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) supports nearly 8 million checks annually at the presale stage of firearms purchases.

Full report (PDF 257K)
ASCII file (26K)
Spreadsheet (Zip format 34K)
To order paper version

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