Public safety and the effective administration of justice rely upon making complete and accurate justice information available to decision-makers who enact, enforce and adjudicate our laws and protect the public.
Effectively sharing information across state, local, tribal and Federal organizations occurs within a complex system of policy, legislative, regulatory and other activities—particularly at the national level.
Information and intelligence must be available in a manner that is responsible, seamless and secure as these organizations work to prevent, investigate and prosecute criminal and terrorist activity, and protect the public. Using justice information for civil purposes (such as screening for employment, licensing and volunteer purposes) and for positions of trust requires accuracy, privacy and appropriate identification of individuals.
SEARCH operates a robust program of advocacy, education and outreach to support state, local, tribal and Federal justice, public safety and homeland security information sharing. As the premier resource on justice information sharing, SEARCH Members (governor appointees from the states and territories) represent the collective voice of the states and territories on these critical issues, and voice their priorities to Congress, the administration, regulatory agencies and others.
Through our Government Affairs program, we work with SEARCH Members, congressional representatives, governmental bodies and boards, partner associations and the general public to—
- Provide timely information and analysis about pending Federal legislation and activity, including appropriations, that affects justice, public safety and homeland security
- Communicate with Federal officials on Capitol Hill and in the Administration about how Federal policy impacts the delivery of services to the field (particularly in local, tribal and state agencies)
- Effectively present the consensus voice of the States on justice information sharing issues to key decision-makers and stakeholders
We meet with Federal agency and Congressional staff and members; develop position, policy and briefing documents and white papers; and work with our Membership to craft resolutions and support liaison activities with their governor’s offices.
|Key policy issues||Our focus|
|Justice Information Sharing||
|Rap Sheets & Background Checks||
|Privacy, Security & Accuracy||
|High-Tech Crime & Online Child Exploitation||
- Download a one-page flyer that outlines the key policy issues we offer expertise on
- Read our white paper on Improving NICS for Firearms Purchases
- Read this blog post on Capitol Hill briefings we held to educate on criminal history records and their use for noncriminal justice and civil purposes
- New! SEARCH Policy Statements, which articulate our core principles as developed and approved by the SEARCH Membership Group, July 29, 2014