ADVANCE FOR RELEASE 4:30 PM EDT                                                                                 BJS

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2002                                                                  202-307-0703

 

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AWARDS OVER $36 MILLION TO IMPROVE CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK SYSTEMS

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Department of Justice announced today that it is awarding over $36 million to the 50 states, District of Columbia, and three territories to improve the quality and accessibility of the nation’s criminal history record systems.  States can use the funds for a variety of purposes, including to strengthen their criminal records systems to support the nation’s efforts to reduce crime and fight terrorism.

Funding, which is provided under the Department’s National Criminal History Improvement Program (NCHIP), is administered by the Office of Justice Programs’ (OJP) Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS).  The goal of NCHIP is to improve the nation’s public safety by enhancing and upgrading the nation’s criminal history records, which are used for background checks for firearms purchases, criminal sentencing, and for employment in sensitive jobs .  Since the program was initiated in 1995, the Justice Department has awarded nearly $391 million to the states and territories, which has led to a 23 percent increase in the number of criminal history records held nationwide and a 40 percent increase in the number of automated records available to law enforcement. 

“Accurate, comprehensive records, which can be shared across law enforcement agencies and jurisdictions, are a cornerstone of our nation’s law enforcement efforts.  This  funding will permit the continued development of the criminal records infrastructure, which is being increasingly relied upon to provide a foundation for addressing public safety concerns ranging from domestic violence to anti-terrorism,” said Assistant Attorney General Deborah J. Daniels.

Complete, accurate and immediately accessible records enable states to identify individuals with prior criminal records in any state; identify individuals who have a history of domestic violence or stalking; more effectively prevent felons and other prohibited persons from purchasing a firearm; and check backgrounds of persons responsible for child, elder and disabled care, and prospective employees in occupations involving transportation safety or other sensitive jobs.

The awards announced today will allow states to continue to automate their criminal records systems, as well as support partnerships among federal, state and local law enforcement and government agencies to share more complete criminal background data.  The funding will encourage more complete participation in national programs maintained by the FBI to maintain registries of sex offenders and databases designed to keep track of protection orders.  Every state and territory that applied for Fiscal Year 2002 NCHIP funds received an award (See chart for a state-by-state breakdown of funds). 

NCHIP awards are made to states agencies designated by the governor.  All 50 states, the District of Columbia and the territories, including Guam, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Northern Mariana Islands and American Samoa, have received NCHIP grants and technical assistance since 1995.  A list of projects undertaken by states with previous NCHIP awards is contained on the OJP Website: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/nchip.htm.  Applicants must meet a 10 percent match requirement in order to receive NCHIP funds.

Additional information about BJS, NCHIP or other OJP programs can be found on the OJP Website at www.ojp.usdoj.gov/.  Media calls should be directed to David Hess in OJP’s Office of Congressional and Public Affairs at hessd@ojp.usdoj.gov or 202-307-0703.

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BJS02261

 

Department of Justice

Office of Justice Programs

Bureau of Justice Statistics

 

National Criminal History Improvement Program (NCHIP)

 

Fiscal Year 2002 Grant Awards to States, Territories and the District of Columbia

 

STATE; RECIPIENT AGENCY ; STATE POINT OF CONTACT ; FY 2002 AWARD; TOTAL NCHIP FUNDS TO DATE

 --Alabama; Criminal Justice Information Center, Montgomery, Alabama; Roger Humber, 334/242-4937; $499,880; $5,028,004

 --Alaska; Department of Public Safety, Anchorage, Alaska; Diane Schenker, 907/269-5092; $475,000; $5,276,318

 --American Samoa; Department of Public Safety, Pago Pago, American Samoa; Lancaster D.P. Allen, 684/633-2827; $285,000; $1,685,000

 --Arizona; Arizona Criminal Justice Commission, Phoenix, Arizona; Gerald E. Hardt, 602/364-1146; $750,000; $6,618,988

 --Arkansas; Arkansas Crime Information Center, Little Rock, Arkansas; Richard Thomas, 501/682-2222; $475,000; $4,776,187

 --California; Bureau of Criminal Identification & Information, Sacramento, California; Gary Cooper, 916/227-3857; $2,200,000; $29,884,094

 --Colorado; Colorado Department of Public Safety, Denver, Colorado; Lance Clem, 303/239-4442; $485,000; $5,480,113

 --Connecticut; Office of Policy & Management, Hartford, Connecticut; Theron A. Schnure, 860/418-6390; $518,000; $5,880,968

 --Delaware; State Bureau of Identification, Delaware State Police, Dover, Delaware; Captain David E. Deputy, 302/739-5872; $475,000; $4,597,307

 --District of Columbia; Metropolitan Police Department, Washington, DC; Mark Brinkman, 202/727-4295; $329,916; $2,484,011

 --Florida; Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Tallahassee, Florida; Clayton Wilder, 850/410-8700; $1,369,000; $14,373,273

 --Georgia; Georgia Crime Information Center, Decatur, Georgia; J. William Holland, 404/244-2775; $691,628; $8,137,724

 --Guam; Superior Court of Guam, Hagatna, Guam; Jacqueline Zahnen, 671/475-3270; $285,000; $1,684,796

 --Hawaii; Hawaii Criminal Justice Data Center, Department of the Attorney General, Honolulu, Hawaii; Liane Moriyama, 808/587-3110; $500,000; $4,567,125

 --Idaho; Idaho State Police, Meridian, Idaho; Robert Taylor, 208/884-7133; $170,000; $2,067,434

 --Illinois; Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, Chicago, Illinois; Candice Kane, 312/793-8550; $1,284,000; $14,598,000

 --Indiana; Indiana Criminal Justice Institute , Indianapolis, Indiana; Kevin Sifferlen, 317/232-1233; $736,000; $7,622,773

 --Iowa; Iowa Department of Public Safety, Des Moines, Iowa; Steven Conlon, 515/281-5138; $420,620; $3,651,597

 --Kansas; Kansas Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, Topeka, Kansas; Barbara Tombs, 785/296-0923; $475,000; $4,467,678

 --Kentucky; Kentucky Justice Cabinet, Frankfort, Kentucky; Kim Allen, 502/564-3251; $482,000; $5,473,497

 --Louisiana; Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement, Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Carle Jackson, 225/925-4440; $499,000; $5,720,885

 --Maine; Maine State Police, Augusta, Maine; Lt. Colonel Jeffrey Harmon, 207/624-7060; $453,000; $4,674,166

 --Maryland; Department of Public Safety & Correctional Services, Towson, Maryland; Alexius O. Bishop, 410/585-3158; $595,117; $6,778,079

 --Massachusetts; Massachusetts Committee on Criminal Justice, Boston, Massachusetts; Michael J. O’Toole, 617/727-6300; $976,000; $11,099,012

 --Michigan; Michigan State Police, Lansing, Michigan; David Turner, 517/322-1658; $881,382; $10,385,903

 --Minnesota; Department of Public Safety, St. Paul, Minnesota; Debra Erdman, 651/296-5323; $502,000; $6,156,763

 --Mississippi; Department of Public Safety, Jackson, Mississippi; Will Spann, 601/933-2600; $500,000; $5,342,796

 --Missouri; Missouri State Highway Patrol, Jefferson City, Missouri; Captain Timothy McGrail, 573/526-6160; $652,000; $7,627,648

 --Montana; Montana Board of Crime Control, Helena, Montana; Don Crabbe, 406/444-2077; $475,341; $4,109,058

 --Nebraska; Nebraska State Patrol, Lincoln, Nebraska; David Deshong, 402/479-4099; $616,825; $4,767,315

 --Nevada; Department of Motor Vehicles and Public Safety, Carson City, Nevada; Sandy Mazy, 775/687-4166; $513,000; $4,433,000

 --New Hampshire; New Hampshire Department of Justice, Concord, New Hampshire; Mark Thompson, 603/271-3658; $476,996; $4,832,244

 --New Jersey; Department of Law & Public Safety, Trenton, New Jersey; Steven Talpas, 609/984-0634, ; $848,000; $9,641,513

 --New Mexico; Department of Public Safety, Santa Fe, New Mexico; Larry Austin, 505/476-9613; $555,998; $6,419,216

 --New York; Division of Criminal Justice Services, Albany, New York; James Shea, 518/457-2418; $2,112,000; $24,019,269

 --North Carolina; Department of Public Safety & Crime Control, Raleigh, North Carolina; Doug Yearwood, 919/733-4564; $603,000; $6,855,151

 --North Dakota; Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Bismarck, North Dakota; Robert J. Helten, 701/328-5500; $475,824; $4,514,222

 --N. Mariana Islands; Criminal Justice Planning Agency, Saipan, MP; Doris Pladevega, 670/664-4550; $285,000; $585,000

 --Ohio; Office of Criminal Justice Services, Columbus, Ohio; Domingo S. Herraiz, 614/466-7782; $1,389,214; $13,534,623

 --Oklahoma; Oklahoma District Attorney’s Council, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; M. DeLynn Fudge, 405/264-5008; $475,000; $4,355,878

 --Oregon; Department of State Police, Salem, Oregon; Carmen Merlo, 503/378-3720; $122,861; $5,608,509

 --Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania Commission on Crime & Delinquency, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; James Thomas, 717/787-2040; $1,322,000; $15,026,137

 --Puerto Rico; Puerto Rico Department of Justice, San Juan, Puerto Rico; Roberto Martinez, 787/729-2121; Did Not Apply; $1,112,436

 --Rhode Island; Governor’s Justice Commission, Providence, Rhode Island; Gina Caruolo, 401/222-4499; $475,000; $3,860,294

 --South Carolina; South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, Columbia, South Carolina; Major Mark Huguley, 803/896-7142; $822,000; $8,273,999

 --South Dakota; Office of the Attorney General, Pierre, South Dakota; Judi Schneider, 605/773-4614; $488,156; $3,625,232

 --Tennessee; Tennessee Department of Finance & Administration, Nashville, Tennessee; Particia Dishman, 615/532-2985; $531,000; $6,027,978

 --Texas; Criminal Justice Policy Council, Austin, Texas; Tony Fabelo, 512/463-1810; $2,000,000; $20,041,275

 --Utah; Utah Commission on Criminal & Juvenile Justice, Salt Lake City, Utah, ; Jennifer Hemenway, 801/538-1055; $475,600; $4,618,941

 --Vermont; State Department of Public Safety, Waterbury, Vermont; Philip Colby, 802/244-8786; $609,688; $6,537,114

 --Virgin Islands; Law Enforcement Planning Commission, St. Thomas, VI; Meredith Nielsen, 340/774-6400; Did Not Apply; $503,157

 --Virginia; Virginia State Police, Richmond, Virginia; Gunnar Kohlbeck, 804/674-2691; $1,203,182; $9,828,683

 --Washington; Office of Financial Management, Olympia, Washington; Harold Nelson, 360/902-0603; $800,000; $7,431,682

 --West Virginia; Department of Military Affairs & Public Safety, Charleston, West Virginia; J. Norbert Federspiel, 304/558-8814; $270,000; $4,822,986

 --Wisconsin; Wisconsin Office of Justice Assistance, Madison, Wisconsin; Stephen Grohmann, 608/266-7185; $647,000; $7,355,700

 --Wyoming; Division of Criminal Investigation, Cheyenne, Wyoming; James Wilson, 307/777-7523; $285,000; $2,106,910

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