Compendium of State Privacy and Security Legislation

Please note: There is no current funding to maintain the Compendium of State Privacy and Security Legislation. The compendium's content has not been updated since 2004. We continue to make the compendium available so users can examine, compare and contrast various state statutory approaches to collecting, maintaining and using criminal history record information. However, we cannot verify that the statutes accessible through the compendium are still in effect. We suggest that you contact individual states if you are interested in obtaining the official and most up-to-date information on state statutes governing criminal history record information

The online Compendium of State Privacy and Security Legislation continued a three-decade effort by the U.S. Department of Justice to maintain a reference source for state laws and regulations that related to the privacy and security of criminal history record information. The compendium assisted legislators, planners, administrators, legal analysts and others interested in reviewing state statutes and regulations governing the maintenance and use of criminal records. Comparing and contrasting the approaches reflected in the many state laws and regulations cited here helped planners and administrators develop effective and fair policies for their jurisdictions. By facilitating such comparisons and by furthering research in this area, the compendium promoted the evolution of enlightened privacy and information policy.

The first compendium was published by the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration (LEAA) in 1974. For more information on the Compendium of State Privacy and Security Legislation, and to access online issues of compendia previously published in hard copy, please visit the Publications section of the Bureau of Justice Statistics Web site.

Scope of this Compendium
This compendium references state laws through December 2004, as well as regulations, executive orders and opinions of state attorneys general through that date, where applicable.

Compendium data were gathered through a survey of state officials involved with criminal record programs and policy, followed by extensive research of state codes to verify and augment survey responses. Laws from 53 jurisdictions were compiled: the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

How to use the Compendium
Laws and regulations cited in the compendium are sorted into 29 subject-matter categories. If no entry appears under one or more classification categories for a state, it means the state has no law or regulation addressing that policy area, or that research has failed to discover any.

The online compendium provides users with three search options:

  1. You may select a state and press submit. You will be provided with all 29 subject-matter category listings for the selected state.
  2. You may select a category and press submit. You will be provided with each state's listing for the selected subject-matter category.
  3. You may select state and category. You will be provided with the selected state's listing(s) for the selected category.

To search the compendium, please click on the “Compendium Search” link in the upper-right-hand corner of this page.

The 29 subject-matter categories are:

  1. State regulatory authority. A grant of power to a state agency to promulgate statewide security and privacy regulations for criminal justice information systems.
  2. Privacy and security council. A state board, committee, commission or council whose primary statutory function is monitoring, evaluating or supervising the confidentiality and security of criminal justice information.
  3. Dissemination regulations. Restrictions on dissemination of criminal history information.
  4. Inspection. The individual's right to examine his or her criminal history record.
  5. Right to challenge. The right to an administrative proceeding in which an individual may contest the accuracy or completeness of his or her criminal history record.
  6. Judicial review of challenged information. The right of an individual to appeal to a state court an adverse agency decision concerning challenged information.
  7. Purging nonconviction information. The destruction or return to the individual of criminal justice information where no conviction has resulted from the event triggering the collection of the information.
  8. Purging conviction information. The destruction or return to an individual of criminal history information indicating a conviction.
  9. Sealing nonconviction information. The removal of criminal history information from active files when the event triggering the collection of the information did not result in a conviction.
  10. Sealing conviction information. The removal from active files of individual criminal history information indicating a conviction.
  11. Removal of disqualifications. The restoration of rights and privileges, such as public employment, to persons whose criminal history records are purged or sealed.
  12. Right to state nonexistence of record. The right of an individual to indicate in response to public or private inquiries the absence of criminal history in cases of arrest not leading to conviction or where an arrest or conviction record has been purged.
  13. Research access. The provision for, and regulation of, access to criminal justice information by outside researchers.
  14. Accuracy and completeness. A requirement that agencies must institute procedures to ensure reasonably complete and accurate criminal history information, including setting deadlines for reporting prosecutorial and court dispositions.
  15. Dedication. The requirement that computer configurations be assigned exclusively to the criminal justice function.
  16. Civil remedies. Statutory actions for damages or other relief resulting from violations of privacy and security laws.
  17. Criminal penalties. Criminal sanctions for violations of privacy and security laws.
  18. Public records. Requirements that official records maintained by public officials be open to the public.
  19. Separation of files. Requirements that criminal history information be stored separate from investigative and intelligence information.
  20. Regulation of intelligence collection. Restrictions on the kind of intelligence information that may be collected and retained and/or prohibitions on its storage in computerized systems.
  21. Regulation of intelligence dissemination. Restrictions on dissemination of intelligence information.
  22. Security. Requirements that criminal justice agencies institute procedures to protect their information systems from unauthorized disclosure, sabotage and accidents.
  23. Transaction logs. Records that must be maintained by criminal justice agencies indicating when and to whom criminal justice information is disseminated.
  24. Training employees. Security and privacy instruction that must be provided to employees handling criminal justice information.
  25. Listing of information systems. A mandatory disclosure of the existence of all criminal justice information systems describing the information contained in such systems.
  26. Freedom of Information Act (including criminal justice information). Provisions for public access to government records that apply to criminal justice records.
  27. Freedom of Information Act (excluding criminal justice information). Provisions for public access to government records from which criminal justice records are specifically excluded.
  28. Central state repository. Establishment of a bureau, agency or other entity to collect and maintain criminal history records or criminal identification data for all criminal justice agencies in the state.
  29. National Crime Prevention and Privacy Compact enacted. Enactment of the National Crime Prevention and Privacy Compact, which authorizes the state repository to provide record responses for all authorized Interstate Identification Index purposes.

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