SEARCH’s 2023 Winter Membership Group Meeting drew nearly 150 attendees from 44 states who participated either on-site at the Hyatt at Olive 8 hotel in downtown Seattle, Washington, or who joined virtually via the Zoom platform.
The Winter Meeting, held January 24–26, featured key sessions and workshops and speakers from state and federal government, national organizations, and private industry. It kicked off on Tuesday, January 24, with a welcome address from Assistant Chief Marc Lamoreaux, Investigative Services Bureau, Washington State Patrol.
As SEARCH’s governing body, the Membership Group meets twice yearly to discuss, analyze and strategize on key policy, operational and technical issues impacting justice information sharing. Federal and state government partners, as well as industry leaders, also attend to share critical information about new programs, services and emerging trends. In turn, they learn about Members’ operational perspectives and the states’ justice information sharing challenges and needs.
The 2023 Winter Meeting Agenda featured the following sessions:
- A briefing from on recent legislative activities of the newly convened 118th Congress, as well as a discussion of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act and supplemental funding to help state record repositories, state courts and tribes find ways to make more eligible records available for firearms background checks.
- Briefings from the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) on the strategic vision for the Bureau and investments in critical national programs, such as NIBRS, NCHIP and NARIP.
- Roundtable sessions during which SEARCH Members shared experiences and information on priority issues and programs in their states, as well as common strategies in leveraging federal grant funding to improve criminal history data quality.
- Critical findings from the 2020 Survey of State Criminal History Information Systems, conducted by SEARCH and BJS.
- A discussion of the Washington State Patrol’s experiences in completing a replacement of their computerized criminal history system.
- Exploring how public-private partnerships can help states investigate crimes with digital evidence.
- Continuing issues surrounding implementation of Public Law 92-544 (which empowers the FBI to exchange identification records with state and local governments for licensing and employment purposes).
- A status report on the dramatic increase in firearms background checks in recent years and how states meet the demands placed on national systems, such as the NICS.
- A look at how the states of Connecticut and Maine have been able to resolve court disposition reporting errors and improve overall criminal history record accuracy and completeness.
- Key research findings of SEARCH’s analysis of state rap sheets provided by 43 states.
- A discussion of the current status of Clean Slate planning and implementation efforts nationwide, particularly in states where records relief legislation has passed.
SEARCH thanks our Sponsors of the 2023 Winter Membership Group Meeting
Photos from the 2023 Winter Meeting
SEARCH is governed by a Membership Group that includes one gubernatorial appointee from each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the territories. Members are primarily state-level justice officials responsible for operational decisions and policy on managing criminal justice and criminal history information, and related identification and telecommunications technology. The SEARCH Chair also selects eight At-large Members from government, organizations and academia, to provide a balanced representation of justice disciplines and to bring special expertise and broad perspectives to the Group. The Membership Group typically meets in January and July each year.