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CJIS Disaster Recovery and Continuity of Operations: SEARCH Survey Documents State Strategies of CSAs


SEARCH has released the results of a recent informal survey of its Membership Group that was intended to gain a better understanding of how the CJIS Systems Agencies (CSA) in the states prepare for, prevent, and respond to incidents that disrupt services to their criminal justice information sharing (CJIS) systems.

The survey focused on hosting, disaster recovery (DR) and continuity of operations (COOP) strategies for mission-critical CJIS systems operated at the state level.  (Per the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services Security Policy, the CSA is the agency in each state that is responsible for establishing and administering an information technology security program for the criminal justice and law enforcement agencies in that state.)

Highlights of the CSA Hosting/DR/COOP Survey, in which 29 states responded, include:

  • All of the responding states support and maintain a computerized criminal history system (CCH), while 27 support and maintain an automated fingerprint or biometric identification system (AFIS/ABIS), and 25 support a message switch.
  • The majority of respondents have a documented contingency plan for CJIS systems in place, while most of these place a greater priority on CJIS systems over non-CJIS systems.
  • All responding states manage application and data backups using multiple methods, such as local backups (with off-site storage), redundant sites, virtual servers, and cloud storage.
  • Only two states have had to act on their contingency plan, due to unexpected or planned power outages.

SEARCH’s Membership Group is a national body of state-level justice professionals, many of whom are responsible for operational decisions and policymaking concerning the management of criminal justice information, particularly criminal history record information and associated background checks.

Contact SEARCH Information Sharing Specialist Michael Jacobson if you have any questions or need more information about the survey.  And visit SEARCH’s Surveys page to access other national surveys of the states conducted in previous years.

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