Repository QA and Cost Analysis Tools

SEARCH oversees a quality assurance program that offers voluntary performance standards for State criminal history repositories.  The goal is to encourage the quality and integrity of justice data maintained and reported by these repositories.

The program offers a comprehensive self-inspection tool that state repositories can use to assure data quality. State repository representatives, with help from officials of the FBI Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division, developed the tool; it was then reviewed by the SEARCH Membership and pilot tested in several states:

The Quality Assurance Checklist can serve three main purposes:

  1. To establish a baseline of repository operations, including alignment with nationally accepted requirements and best practices;
  2. To identify gaps in repository operations; and
  3. To train and educate existing and future staff on repository operations. 

The Civil Fingerprint Handling Cost Analysis Tool helps repositories determine the costs for noncriminal justice purpose background checks. By using this tool, repositories can:

  • Better understand the monetary costs of providing background check services; and
  • Provide a rationale for establishing a baseline for setting fees. 

The QA and Cost Analysis Tools are bundled together in one Microsoft Word document that can be filled out electronically:

Associated Resources

State Central Criminal History Repository: The database, or agency housing the database, that maintains criminal history records on all State offenders. Records include fingerprint files and files containing identification segments, arrest notations, and dispositions.
—Source: Use and Management of Criminal History Record Information

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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.

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