|Research, Analysis & Evaluation||
The Computerized Criminal History (CCH) is located within the State Police Bureau of Identification (SPBI)
Connecticut is currently planning and implementing several criminal justice information system initiatives that initially focus on four major areas of the justice process; offender identification, on-line booking, offender-case information repositories, and incident reporting. These initiatives include an:
For more information, please contact:
Thomas Myers, Technical Analyst II
State of Connecticut
Department of Public Safety, Division of State Police
1111 Country Club Road, Middletown, CT 06457
Office: (860) 685-8932
Cell: (860) 250-2098
Fax: (860) 685-8636
The following are...
|WHAT IS COMPUTERIZED CRIMINAL HISTORY (CCH)|
Chapter 60, Code of Criminal Procedure (CCP) defines the Computerized Criminal History System (CCH) as the statewide repository of criminal history data reported to DPS by local criminal justice agencies in Texas. CCH is one component of the Texas Criminal Justice Information System (CJIS). The other component of CJIS is the Corrections Tracking System (CTS) managed by the Department of Criminal Justice (DCJ).
WHAT DATA IS INCLUDED IN CCH?
Chapter 60, CCP requires that information on arrests, prosecutions and the disposition of the case for persons arrested for Class B misdemeanor or greater violation of Texas criminal statutes be included in CCH. The statute identifies many of the actual data elements. In addition, although not required by statute, CCH has traditionally included limited supervision data reported to DPS by DCJ.
Of special note is that Chapter 60, CCP creates an Incident Tracking Number (TRN) and Incident Tracking Number Suffix (TRS) as the keys for linking charges from arrest through adjudication. Use of the TRN and TRS ensures that the outcome of each arrest charge can be tracked through the system, but establishing this capability requires each reporting entity to be extremely careful in its management of cases to include and pass along the TRN and TRS.
WHO MUST REPORT DATA TO CCH
Chapter 60, CCP establishes a flow of information at the local level that is required for successful CCH reporting from each county. The statute places responsibility for reporting to CCH on specific local criminal justice agencies, as follows:
Police Departments, Sheriff’s Offices or any other criminal justice agency in Texas that arrests a person for a Class B misdemeanor or higher violation of a Texas statute is required by Ch. 60, CCP to report that event to DPS within seven days. The report, if on paper, must be on the Criminal History Reporting form (CR-43) created by DPS. A form created by a local booking system also may be used, if approved by DPS. The report must include the arrested person’s fingerprints, the Incident Tracking Number and other data required by statute.
The preferred method of reporting arrests captures the person’s fingerprints via “live scan” fingerprinting devices, captures the Texas Department of Public Safety page 2 demographic and arrest data from the booking agency’s own automated booking system, and sends all the data in an electronic message to DPS for immediate processing. The same data must be included in the electronic transaction as when reported on paper. The electronic submission provides a near-real-time response to the arresting agency and causes the CCH to be updated much more quickly than paper reporting.
A critical component of successful reporting is cooperation within the county. A large part of that cooperation is each reporting agency passing the TRN and TRS to the next level. The arresting agency needs to send the TRN and TRS to the prosecuting agency, as indicated below.
Chapter 60, CCP requires that any County Attorney, District Attorney or other prosecutor receiving a class B misdemeanor or greater offense must report to DPS the decision to accept, reject, change, or add to the charge for trial. As with the arresting agencies, prosecutors may report on paper or electronically. The prosecutor must also include the incident tracking number, as received from the arresting agency.
Chapter 60, CCP requires that County Clerks, District Clerks, or others clerks whose courts try Class B misdemeanor or greater violations of Texas statutes must report the disposition of the case to DPS. As with prosecutors, the clerks are dependent upon receiving the TRN and TRS from the prior reporting agency. Depending upon the level of automation within the county, court clerks also may report the required data electronically to DPS.
HOW SUCCESSFUL IS CCH REPORTING AT PRESENT?
An analysis by the Criminal Justice Policy Council in May, 2002 estimated that only about 60% of the dispositions in local courts are present in CCH. The two primary reasons for dispositions being absent from CCH are:
The corresponding arrest was not reported. When the disposition is reported, it cannot be matched (via TRN and TRS) to an arrest and must be placed in the DPS “suspense” file to await the receipt of the arrest report. If the arrest is never reported, the dispositions will never be entered into CCH.
The court has not reported it.
HOW CAN CCH REPORTING BE IMPROVED?
As suggested above, the most important factors contributing to successful CCH reporting are local communication and coordination. The arresting agency must begin the process with the fingerprint submission. That event must be reported to DPS and to the prosecutor. The DPS Criminal History Reporting Form (CR- 43) contains all the required information, Texas Department of Public Safety page 3 except the State Identification Number, which must be received back by the arresting agency from DPS after the arrest is reported. The arresting agency and prosecutor must agree on a process for the efficient flow of information via the CR-43 or other appropriate method.
Likewise, the prosecutor must report his/her action to DPS and to the court. As with the arrest information, it may be passed via the CR-43, but with the proliferation of automated systems, it is often passed via an intra-county system. Internal cooperation and communication is critical to successful CCH reporting at the local level.Each agency must fulfill its responsibility or the succeeding agency may not be able to accurately report the next step in the process. CCH reporting is not the responsibility of a single agency, it is a county-wide responsibility, and the best solutions are developed in counties that have established plans for county-wide communication, coordination and implementation.
HOW IS THE INFORMATION IN CCH USED
Chapter 411, Subchapter F, Texas Government Code controls the use of CCH by DPS. That statute follows the national model established in federal regulations for the nationwide criminal history file managed by the FBI. In addition, certain federal statutes affect the use of Texas CCH. The CCH data in the Texas state repository at DPS may only be disseminated from DPS:
To criminal justice agencies for criminal justice purposes, including law enforcement agencies during investigations,
To entities identified in the Government Code (and a few other statutes) for background searches for specific non-criminal justice purposes, such as:
Certain governmental licenses (medical, law, educator, etc.)
Certain jobs serving vulnerable populations, especially children, the elderly and the disabled (day care centers, nursing homes, hospitals, mental health workers, etc.)
Certain security sensitive jobs, such as nuclear power plants, financial institutions, etc.
Brady firearm sales
To the person himself or herself
For certain research purposes
Each session, the Texas legislature increases the uses of CCH for noncriminal justice purposes. In 2003, for example, the legislature granted access for criminal history searches on to the many companies that provide in-home services, such as plumbing or electrical repair. Keeping the file accurate and upto- date is a true public safety responsibility for both criminal and noncriminal justice purposes.
|DATA COLLECTION IN CONNECTICUT|
|CRIMINAL HISTORY CHECKS|
Criminal History Record Checks (Fingerprinting)
In accordance with current statute, any person who is employed by a local board of education (teacher, administrator, special service staff member, teachers aide, custodian, cafeteria employee, etc.) must submit to a state and national criminal history record check within the first 30 days of the date of employment. The only exception is that teachers of adult education, who are not required to hold certification for their positions (non-mandated, general interest programs only), are not required to submit to the criminal history record check unless directed by the employing district. A person may obtain fingerprint packets (including fingerprint cards) and have their fingerprints taken at a local board of education, a Regional Educational Service Center (RESC), or the State Police Bureau of Identification. The statute does not require that school volunteers submit to the criminal history record check. However, school districts are entitled to establish additional policies concerning criminal history record checks. The statute does not require criminal history record checks for private or independent schools. However, these schools are permitted by law to require criminal history record checks.
Pre-employment background checks
It is the policy of the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) to have all employees hired to support individuals with disabilities funded by DDS to complete background checks prior to employment. These pre-employment background checks include a criminal background check, an abuse and neglect registry check and a driver’s license check. This fact sheet provides information on the criminal background check. The DDS abuse and neglect registry check fact sheet and the DDS driver’s record fact sheet provide information on other pre-employment checks required by DDS. The purpose of all of the DDS pre-employment checks is to help ensure that individuals and their families have the information needed to make good hiring decisions.
What is a Criminal History Background Check?
A criminal history background check provides a review of police records in Connecticut.
How do I check to find out if someone has a criminal record?
Step #1: A standard job application must be completed by the potential employees you want to hire. All potential employees are required to fill out a standard application for employment. You can obtain this standard application through your fiscal intermediary, or through your case manager. You can let all possible candidates know that, once all the background checks are completed, you will make a hiring decision. If a potential employee fails to disclose a prior conviction on the application, they are disqualified from employment. This statement is included in the application.
Step #2: Decide how you want to get the criminal background check done. There are a few different options you can consider to conduct criminal background checks. State of Connecticut criminal background checks can be done using name and date of birth only or they can include a fingerprint check as well. You can choose which type of criminal background check to complete. You can also choose from the options listed below on how to get the criminal background check completed. Criminal background checks using name and date of birth can be completed by your fiscal intermediary in one to two days.
The person you want to hire must complete the applicant identification letter. The person you want to hire must then go to the Department of Public Safety State Police Bureau of Identification in Middletown for fingerprinting. This check can take up to two weeks to complete.
You can also use the Department of Public Safety in Middletown (DPS) This background check costs $25, and for an additional $5, can include a fingerprint check.
In addition, there are several private companies that can conduct criminal history background checks using the person’s name, date of birth and social security number (these do not include finger print checks). These companies can be found in the yellow pages or on the Internet. They charge a fee that ranges from $5 to $70. The Human Resources staff can assist you with this option also. Your fiscal intermediary may also be able to assist you to do this type of background check.
The background check is usually completed in approximately five to 10 business days. Fingerprint-based checks may take longer to complete than background checks that use only the person’s name and date of birth. Fingerprints must be taken by trained, qualified individuals, usually the police. It is important to remember that an employee cannot begin working for you until the criminal background check has been completed. Your fiscal intermediary cannot authorize payment of an employee’s timesheet without a completed criminal background check on file. If you have an emergency hiring situation, you should notify your case manager/broker and he or she will help you get high priority treatment for completing the criminal background check of the person you would like to hire.
Step #3: Review the criminal background check information you receive and determine whether to hire the person. If someone you want to hire has a criminal background, you should carefully consider the type of crime he or she has been convicted of, when it happened and what the sentence was. The offenses listed below represent felonies that indicate potential for serious harm to others. Individuals who hire their own employees cannot use State funds to pay a person who has a conviction record of any of these types of felonies listed below as defined by state law.
Assault and Related Offenses
Kidnapping and Related Offenses
Burglary and Related Offenses
Larceny, Robbery and Related Offenses
Perjury and Subordination
Cruelty to Persons
Felony Drug Offenses
Forgery or Related Offenses
If a job candidate does not have any of the offenses listed above on their record, but does have a record of other types of convictions, before you can offer employment to the person. An administrative review is a review of the conviction record and the employability factors listed below. The Human Resources representative will review the criminal history background check and discuss the employability factors listed below:
Applicant’s age at the time the offense was committed
Mitigating factors at the time the offense was committed
Number of offenses for which the individual was convicted
Efforts and success at rehabilitation
The amount of time since the offense was committed
The likelihood the offense will be repeated
Individual’s employment related references (history) since committing the offense
The relationship between the job and the offense committed
The training, structure and supervision available on the job.
After evaluation of the listed employment review factors above, the Director of Human Resources or their designee will sign the form indicating that all of the factors have been reviewed with the employer. If an employer (individual or family member) wants to employ an individual with a conviction history other than those crimes that are prohibited from authorization, the employer must sign the Acknowledgement documenting that the issues raised during the administrative review were fully evaluated as outlined in the factors effecting employability. The employee cannot begin working until the fiscal intermediary has received this acknowledgement. This review is only applicable for the specific employer requesting the review.
|CONNECTICUT DATA POLICIES AND CAUTIONS|
About Connecticut's Computerized Criminal History System and Data
Since it's inception in the early 1980's, Connecticut's Computerized Criminal History (CCH) System data is very complete. There are issues with backlog data in the "Suspense File" awaiting fingerprint identification. Below is an overview of CCH and it's strengths as well as weaknesses.
Criminal history information obtained from the DPS computerized criminal history (CCH) and Federal Bureau of Investigation III (FBI III) files is confidential and subject to restrictions on use and dissemination. TCIC, CCH or FBI III information can only be given to criminal justice agencies for the following purposes: