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Just-released biennial survey offers national snapshot of state criminal history info operations at year-end 2018

On November 6, the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) published the latest findings of a biennial national survey that represents the most current and detailed snapshot of the data, trends, policies, practices, and operations of criminal history records repositories nationwide.

Downloadable 2018 Survey
2018 Survey Abstract page

The Survey of State Criminal History Information Systems, 2018 was conducted by SEARCH, The National Consortium for Justice Information and Statistics, with support of BJS, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. As part of its National Criminal History Improvement Program, BJS has supported these biennial surveys since 1989, together with substantial direct funding to states and territories to improve the quality, timeliness, and accessibility of criminal history and related records, and a host of other research, conferences, workshops, and technical assistance.

The 2018 report provides results from a survey of the administrators of the state criminal history records repositories conducted during 2019. SEARCH surveyed 56 jurisdictions, including the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the territories. All 50 states, the District of Columbia and Guam submitted survey responses.

The survey findings are very detailed and provide insight into the volume of records and transactions processed by repositories, policies and practices, levels of automation, measures of data quality and timeliness, types of records and systems maintained, information sharing capabilities, and more.

In an effort to make these detailed findings more accessible, and to provide operational context for these findings, SEARCH will be publishing a series of blogs that highlight key findings from the survey over the next several weeks.

Direct questions about the 2018 survey to or

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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.