Policy Statements

policy-statements2Key Justice Information Sharing and Management Issues Reflected in SEARCH Policy Statements

SEARCH’s policy statements articulate the Membership Group’s core values, express the view of the States on key criminal justice information sharing and management issues, and offer a roadmap for how local, state, and federal governments can achieve progress in these important policy areas.

Each statement articulates a core principle of SEARCH—taken together, the eight statements affirm what SEARCH most values:

  • information sharing among justice, public safety, and homeland security,
  • standardized criminal history records as a basis for information sharing, with positive identification of record subjects,
  • the states’ responsibilities for conducting background screening within a national legal, policy, and operational framework,
  • an integrated justice enterprise,
  • evidence-based decision-making, and
  • privacy and civil liberties protections for criminal history records.

Each statement provides background on what the core principle means, why it is important, who it affects, and how we achieve the end result articulated in the principle.

> Download the complete policy statements

SEARCH Values National Cooperative Information Sharing Efforts SEARCH values collective and cooperative efforts by State, Local, Tribal, Territorial, and Federal jurisdictions to share justice, public safety, and homeland security information.
SEARCH Values Positive Identification Via Biometrics SEARCH values use of biometric identification as a foundation for criminal and civil records exchange and criminal investigations.
SEARCH Values the Official Criminal History Record: A State and Federal Effort SEARCH values a nationwide, standardized, and user-governed approach to sharing criminal record information among the States and Federal agencies.
SEARCH Values a National Structure for Criminal Record Background Screening SEARCH values the legal, policy, and operational framework that the Congress and States have established to govern the exchange of criminal justice information for criminal record background screening.
SEARCH Values States’ Responsibilities for Criminal Record Background Screening SEARCH values the ability and right for the States to establish criminal record background check policies, requirements, practices and fees, within the context of a nationwide approach.
SEARCH Values an Effective, Integrated Justice Enterprise SEARCH values the integration of justice information systems, across all levels of government, to enable the more effective and efficient administration of the justice system.
SEARCH Values Decision-Making Based on Evidence, Research, and Data SEARCH values the use of information and research to inform and improve policy and practice in the administration of justice.
SEARCH Values Protecting Privacy and Civil Liberties SEARCH values privacy and civil liberties protections as fundamental to effective justice information sharing.
Karen Lissy

Ms. Karen Lissy is a Justice Information Services Specialist for the Law and Policy Program of SEARCH, The National Consortium for Justice Information and Statistics. In this position, she provides assistance to state and local justice and public safety agencies to collect, curate, and use National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) data and computerized criminal history record (CCH/CHRI) information for policy analysis and development.

She also guides justice and related organizations in how to craft and implement laws, policies, practices, and technology applications to effectively collect and use CCH and related justice/public safety data; address legal, policy, and regulatory issues associated with CCH data; better manage and operate criminal justice information and identification systems; and develop security and privacy policies that protect justice information sharing systems.

Ms. Lissy has nearly two decades of research and data analysis experience, having led projects and tasks in support of two agencies within the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs (the Bureau of Justice Statistics and National Institute of Justice), as well as the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, and multiple foundations, including Ford, Annie E. Casey, and Hewlett. Prior to joining SEARCH in October 2020, Ms. Lissy served as a Social Science Researcher at RTI International, as a regional Crime Analyst for the Redmond (WA) Police Department, and as Director of a research program with the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis. Beginning in 2012, Ms. Lissy’s work has focused on improving data in law enforcement to answer policy questions and improve community/police relations.

Ms. Lissy earned a Bachelor’s degree in Public Policy from Duke University, and a Master’s in Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Michael Mackay

Mr. Michael Mackay is an Information Sharing Developer for SEARCH, The National Consortium for Justice Information and Statistics. As part of the Software and Data Engineering Program (SDEP) team, he plans, develops, implements, and deploys information sharing systems on behalf of SEARCH clients in local, state, tribal, and Federal government settings. He also provides programming, configuration, and testing assistance, and consults on implementation architecture and design with clients. 

Mr. Mackay supports justice, public safety, and homeland security information sharing nationwide through SDEP services that include software architecture and systems design, application development, deployment and support, data management services, and direct technical assistance and training. These services offer capabilities that include federated query, authentication access/control, subscription/notification, process/workflow automation, data analysis, and more. 

Prior to joining SEARCH in 2021, Mr. Mackay worked as a Software Engineering Intern for TDM Business Toole Suite, where he provided software development support using Java frameworks, implemented relational database models using MySQL, and designed GUI components using NetBeans. 

Mr. Mackay will work in an Agile development environment, a methodology that SEARCH embraces that focuses on incremental development and delivery, collaboration in a team approach, and rapid and flexible response to change throughout the development cycle. 

Mr. Mackay earned a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Applied Mathematics and Statistics from Stony Brook University, New York.