The NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007 (NIAA) requires States to report reasonable estimates of the number of records available to the NATIONAL INSTANT CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK SYSTEM (NICS).
The State of Connecticut was awarded the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) Act Record Improvement Program (NARIP) grant which implements the provisions of NIAA. With these funds Connecticut sought to improve the quality, completeness, and availability of its NICS records and to develop more accurate NIAA State Estimates with narratives that identify the structural or reporting problems of potential NICS records. The information needed to support the NIAA State Estimates is provided by the originating agencies who may only understand their responsibility in the overarching process.
Connecticut’s NCHIP Official, who oversees and verifies the annual NIAA State Estimates on behalf of the State to the U.S. Attorney General, sought to create a shared understanding about how data is transmitted to NCIC, III, and the NICS Index. NARIP 2011 funds were utilized to hire business analysts who developed flow charts for Connecticut’s current “AS IS” business processes from the local, state and federal levels for all seven (7) categories of records specified in the NIAA. The documentation and analysis created provides a high level comprehensive view of the multiple data sources and reporting paths the data follows, providing a shared understanding of where records exist and how data is reported. A thorough examination of all our reporting systems can help to identify and resolve disparities, leading to more records being made available to NICS.
The documents being created are a work in progress and part of the State of Connecticut’s NICS Record Improvement Plan. Content is anticipated to change based on our latest assessment, analysis and findings as of the revised date for each document. These documents are being completed under funding from the BUREAU OF JUSTICE STATISTICS (BJS), U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE.
Connecticut's high level overview documents are as follows:
Documentation is also being created for all seven (7) NIAA categories of records that Connecticut is assessing which may disqualify an individual from possessing or receiving a firearm under federal law.
Our project team is working to complete all NIAA category of records Summary Documents to provide a more complete picture of the challenges faced by the State of Connecticut. The Connecticut NICS Record Improvement Task Force has approved several of these document to share individually with our federal partners and other states. For more information about these publications, please contact Connecticut’s NCHIP Official.
Next Steps... Technical Assistance!
The NATIONAL CENTER FOR STATE COURTS (NCSC) and SEARCH, as national partners, have access to a wealth of resources and are ensuring the nationwide implementation of criminal justice and non-criminal justice background check systems.
NCSCand SEARCH, have been working with the State of Connecticut, as part of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Disposition and Warrant Management Project. Connecticut was awarded 920 hours in technical assistance as part of this project, along with ten (10) other states, to assist with making disposition and warrant information available to the FBI. A formal commitment has been in process, but not completed. A modified agreement or scope of work activities is currently being rewritten by NCSC to meet the changing needs of the project. The most recent NCSC proposal included 800 hours toward automation of disposition records and another 120 hours for warrants.
Working with NCSC and SEARCH has lead Connecticut to request for their assistance in identifying best practices in other states that may help guide and address the challenges identified in our NIAA categories of records. This partnership will provide the valuable knowledge and experience needed to develop plans toward the best options or solutions. Futhermore, as priorities and plans develop, these will be followed by hands on guidance during phases of implementation to help ensure that we achieve our goals.
By this approach, we are assuring success in targeting priority areas for measured improvements with the best information available.
CT NCHIP OFFICIAL
State of Connecticut
SAC, NARIP & NCHIP Official
Office of Policy and Management
Criminal Justice Policy and Planning
450 Capitol Avenue, MS#52CJP
Hartford CT 06106-1379
CT NICS TASK FORCE
Connecticut Judicial Branch
Ellen Weber Lachance
Psychiatric Security Review Board
CT CJPAC CHAIRPERSON
State of Connecticut
CJPAC Chairperson / Under Secretary
Office of Policy and Management
Devon B. Adams
Chief, Criminal Justice Data
U.S. Department of Justice
Bureau of Justice Statistics
810 Seventh St. NW
Washington, DC 20531
Prepared by State of Connecticut, NICS Record Improvement Task Force, coordinated by Office of Policy and Management (OPM).
This project was supported by Grant No. 2011-NS-BX-K005 awarded by the U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this publication /program/exhibition are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of Justice.