BJS/SEARCH National Criminal History Operations Workshop Provides Solution-Sharing Opportunities


Homeland security demands, more stringent sex offender monitoring, private sector competition, and aging technological infrastructures are among the challenges that have confronted state and federal criminal record managers in recent years.

The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), U.S. Department of Justice, and SEARCH, The National Consortium for Justice Information and Statistics, sponsor a workshop series that brings state criminal record repositories and their federal partners together to discuss these common challenges and to share solutions they’ve devised in response.

The most recent event, The 2006 Criminal History Operations Workshop, was held in Miami Beach, Florida, on November 15-16, 2006.

Representatives from 36 states, the FBI, BJS, and SEARCH were among the 69 people who attended the day-and-a-half workshop.

Its agenda reflected the complicated course that criminal record database managers must navigate to perform their jobs effectively.

The workshop featured wide-ranging discussion on a host of issues from identity theft and privacy to “lights-out” processing (fingerprint-based record checks that are processed without human intervention) and disposition reporting.

Other topics covered included the outsourcing of noncriminal justice record check services to private vendors, and the latest efforts to incorporate the capture of palm prints (which constitute more than 30 percent of the latent prints extracted from crime scenes) into fingerprinting operations.

The workshop’s first day featured an afternoon poster session during which three state agencies provided presentations on recent technological and policy innovations. They included:
November’s meeting was the seventh in the BJS/SEARCH workshop series, which began in 2000, and the third to focus on general criminal history repository operations. Other workshops have focused on sex offender registries, protection order registries, the court-criminal history repository relationship, and implementation of the National Crime Prevention and Privacy Compact.

The November 2006 Criminal History Operations Workshop drew dozens of attendees from 36 states.

Owen M. Greenspan, Director of Law and Policy for SEARCH, was the Workshop Moderator.

Raymond Miles of the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services discussed his state’s recent technological and policy innovations.