SEARCH wrapped up its 2015 Winter Membership Group Meeting last week in Austin, Texas. The meeting, held January 27–29, featured presentations and discussions on a range of technical, operational and policy issues affecting justice information sharing. Attending were SEARCH Members, Staff and stakeholders from a variety of federal, state and local agencies and national organizations.
SEARCH’s 2015 Winter Meeting kicked off with the presentation of flags by the Region 7 Honor Guard of the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Mr. Steven McCraw, Director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, welcomes SEARCH to Austin. At right is SEARCH Chair Brad Truitt and Vice Chair Natalie Chrastil.
Ms. Kelly Harbitter, SEARCH Director of Government Affairs, briefs the Membership on the coming activities of the new 114th Congress.
Members listen as SEARCH Director of Government Affairs Kelly Harbitter touches on federal legislation and funding and how it affects the states’ criminal history recordkeeping and information sharing efforts.
Mr. Mark Levin, Policy Director for Right on Crime and Director of the Center for Effective Justice, Texas Public Policy Foundation, addresses the Membership as part of panel on Redemption and the Impact of Computerized Criminal History Records on Reentry and Employment. The panel shared its perspectives on offender redemption and the use of criminal rap sheets for civil background checks. Also participating on the panel was Ms. Jessica Tyler, Research Manager, The Council of State Governments Justice Center.
Mr. Kshemendra Paul, Program Manager for the Information Sharing Environment (PM-ISE), briefed Members on recent efforts of the PM-ISE to improve justice and public safety information sharing. These included the National Strategy for Information Sharing, state-level Information Sharing Environments, and engagement with international standards organizations to align the justice community’s work with broader industry standards.
Ms. Devon Adams, Chief of the Criminal Justice Data Improvement Program in the U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), updates Members on BJS’s goal and strategies.
Colorado Deputy Attorney General Matthew Durkin discusses the impact that legislation to legalize recreational marijuana sales has had on state and local law enforcement in the Colorado.
SEARCH’s 2015 Winter Meeting featured three breakout sessions like the one above: On IT consolidation in state government and its impact on criminal history repositories and justice information sharing; cloud-based computing resources and technology; and an exploration of technologies and capabilities in upgrading aging computerized criminal history repositories.
Ms. Stephanie Burroughs, Justice Statistics Policy Analyst in the U.S. DOJ’s Bureau of Justice Statistics, shared information on criminal history improvement program grants with Members.
Ms. Bonnie Locke, Director of Business Development at SEARCH’s longstanding partner, Nlets, shares opportunities offered by the new Brodie Assistance Fund, which will assist states with implementing information sharing capabilities.
SEARCH Vice Chair Natalie Chrastil (Wyoming) and Board Member Dawn Peck (Idaho) enjoy an evening reception at the 2015 Winter Meeting.
Dr. Hugh Collins, SEARCH Member Emeritus (left) chats with Board Member Bob Wessels (At Large) at an evening reception during the 2015 Winter Meeting.