The National Consortium for Justice Information and Statistics

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Newly released biennial survey offers national snapshot of state criminal history information operations as of year-end 2020

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The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) has 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 state criminal history records repositories nationwide.

Downloadable 2020 Survey
2020 Survey Abstract Page

SEARCH conducted the survey with support of BJS, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. It is the 16th survey of criminal history information systems that SEARCH has conducted for BJS.

As part of its National Criminal History Improvement Program (NCHIP), 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 2020 report provides results from a survey of the administrators of state criminal history records repositories conducted May–July 2021 for calendar year information ending December 31, 2020. 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 plans to publish a series of blogs that highlight key findings from the survey in the coming weeks.

Direct questions about the 2020 survey to or

NCJ Number: 305602
Authors: Becki R. Goggins,
Dennis A. DeBacco, SEARCH
Date Published: December 16, 2022

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