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The IJIS Factor is the IJIS Institute's blog that covers technology and information sharing and safeguarding topics, including national standards and initiatives.

 

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Exploring the Advisory Committees - Part II - Criminal Justice Information Systems (CJIS)

Posted By Alex McAdoo, Thursday, October 3, 2019

Part one of this six-part blog series, Exploring the IJIS Institute’s Advisory Committees, discussed the importance of fostering the participation of diverse perspectives from both the public and private sectors. This aspect is crucial to help advance the organization’s important mission of promoting safer and healthier communities through public sector innovation and information sharing. The formation of the IJIS Institute’s Criminal Justice Information Systems (CJIS) Advisory Committee is in direct correlation with that mission, all while striving to support and improve information sharing solutions across the federal, state and local levels.

The CJIS Advisory Committee promotes partnerships and advances open dialogue between industry and key practitioner organizations that represent federal, state and local information sharing initiatives. The Committee evaluates proposed CJIS initiatives, identifies opportunities for new or improved information-sharing standards, develops white papers and provides further guidance on issues related to CJIS. The 15 members on this committee have profound backgrounds in improving criminal justice information-sharing initiatives. The committee is composed of federal, state and local practitioners, and industry experts. Their diverse backgrounds have proven to be crucial in the successful completion of Committee objectives.

All IJIS Advisory Committees can establish a task force or working group to focus on advancing specific information sharing initiatives or solutions. These sub-groups are led by IJIS Members from the respective advisory committee and additional participants with topic-specific skills and experience are enlisted from IJIS’ wider membership. The CJIS Advisory Committee currently has three active sub-groups engaged in advancing specific goals within its mission of improving information sharing standards and solutions. Specifically, the Background Check Working Group concentrates on collecting information and evaluating existing processes around the country used for non-law enforcement background checks, primarily within the Justice and Health Services domains. In August of 2018, the Working Group created a State Background Check Portal, which provides up-to-date information on state policies and processes for conducting non-law enforcement background checks. This portal provided as a resource for members of the technology industry when initiating background checks in the course of their work with law enforcement agencies.

The Committee’s N-DEx / NIBRS Task Force focuses on issues related to N-DEx and NIBRS. A recent deliverable is an informative N-DEx - NIBRS Compare and Contrast resource, developed with local law enforcement and the RMS provide community as audiences, to help to eliminate the mystery and misconceptions about N-DEx and NIBRS data collection and submission.

One recent success story was the Committee’s Web Services Working Group. The FBI UCR program began to emphasize XML, and specifically the NIBRS IEPD as the preferred format for NIBRS submissions of incident data from state UCR programs. The Advisory Committee saw a need to modernize the method of transporting those CML files, and more broadly for state UCR systems to communicate with the FBI’s new UCR system. The Advisory Committee spun-up a Web Services Working Group that included IJIS member companies; state program managers, through a partnership with their member organization, the Association of State UCR Program (ASUCRP); and technical representatives from the FBI-CJIS Division. This strong collaborative worked over the course of over a year to define a draft web services specification; create web services definition language (WDL) file; and partner on testing the interactions of the web service. As a result, the FBI has made web service communications available to state programs, which promises to greatly improve the timeliness of NIBRS submissions, and to enhance and streamline the back-and-forth communications required to resolve errors submitted incident data.

Through the completion of these projects and deliverables, the Committee has gained further access and participation to a larger audience of industry experts and practitioner executives, which help improve the effectiveness of both current and future projects. Looking forward, the Committee will continue to strategically support national information sharing initiatives and identify mechanisms to aid with the adoption of current solutions and initiatives. For example, the Committee will be organizing a cross-committee working group seeking to provide clarity on security concerns given the trend toward cloud-hosted criminal justice solutions.

For any questions regarding the IJIS Institute’s CJIS Advisory Committee, or to inquire about joining the CJIS Advisory Committee, please contact staff liaison, Robert May, at Robert.May@ijis.org.

Tags:  CJIS 

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Nlets Implementers Workshop

Posted By Michael Alagna, Monday, September 24, 2018
Updated: Thursday, September 13, 2018

I attended the Nlets Implementers Workshop representing the IJIS Institute. The event was held September 10-12 in Tempe, AZ, and I got the opportunity to provide a snapshot of IJIS and Nlets joint strategic projects.  

Nlets is a private, nonprofit corporation owned by the States that was created more than 50 years ago by the 50 state law enforcement agencies. The user population is made up of all the US and its territories, all Federal agencies with a justice component, selected international agencies, and a variety of strategic partners that serve the law enforcement community in cooperatively exchanging data.

The types of data being exchanged varies from motor vehicle and drivers' data, to Canadian and Interpol database located in Lyon France, to state criminal history records and driver license and corrections images. Operations consist of more than 1.6 billion transactions a year to over 1 million PC, mobile and handheld devices in the U.S. and Canada at 45,000 user agencies and to 1.3 million individual users.

The Nlets Implementers Workshop provides attendees the opportunity to exchange ideas, learn about new technologies and national standards, share implementation successes and failures, and create new contacts. Discussion topics included Nlets technology initiatives, security updates from CJIS and Nlets, and several new resources available to law enforcement. 

The IJIS Institute is a long-standing strategic partner of Nlets, and we are working to help address several important technology challenges. IJIS is launching the Computer-Aided Dispatch Interoperability and Technology Working Group (CAD-ITWG), in collaboration with public safety practice associations to improve interoperability of emergency incident information in the public safety communications environment. To participate on the CAD-ITWG, please email me at michael.alagna@ijis.org

Tags:  Alliance Partner  CAD  CJIS  information sharing  Nlets 

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IJIS Institute Participation in the 2018 ASUCRP Conference

Posted By Robert L. May II, Wednesday, September 19, 2018
Updated: Wednesday, September 12, 2018

I represented the IJIS Institute at the Association of State Uniform Crime Reporting Programs (ASUCRP) Conference held at the Cheyenne Mountain Resort in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on September 5-7, 2018. ASUCRP represents participants in the National Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program.

 

Let’s start with a little background. UCR data is collected either through Summary or the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) reporting methods on the local, regional, state, territorial, and national levels. Members of ASUCRP collect and analyze crime data that is not available through any other source.

 

This was a very productive conference that brought together participants from state UCR Program Offices, FBI Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS), the Bureau of Justice Statistics NCS-X program, Justice Research and Statistics Association members, and several IJIS Institute Member companies.

 

The highlights from the conference are included in this article.

 

Amy Blasher of FBI CJIS provided a comprehensive update on FBI CJIS programs. Amy said they are working toward one Uniform Crime Statistics reporting standard for local, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement agencies that will provide richer data to inform, educate, and strengthen communities. Major components of this effort include the transition to NIBRS by 2021, the National Use of Force Data Collection, the FBI reporting their own data, and Crime Data explorer. Other CJIS updates included:

  • UCR Tech Refresh – deployed in June of 2018, a more streamlined process with automated error, warning and data quality messages. For more information, go to: ucr@fbi.gov
  • Topics for the Advisory Policy Board (APB) Fall meeting include: a UCR Program Update, NIBRS Incident definitions and dictionary of UCR words and phrases topic paper, reporting to UCR program by nontraditional means, crime reporting timeliness recommendations, and the Status of the NIBRS Transition.
  • The Office of the Deputy Attorney General has a desire to report violent crime counts on a more frequent basis. The FBI UCR Program has been tasked to develop a mechanism to provide violent crime statistics for 303 agencies (most in high population areas) for use in high-level briefings.
  • The National Academies of Sciences recently released recommendations for modernizing crime statistics. In response, the FBI will create a Task Force (an extension of UCR Subcommittee) which will have different subgroups that will feed their recommendations up to the UCR Subcommittee Chair to report to UCR Subcommittee. The FBI is looking for people to serve on these subgroups. Modernizing Crime Statistics: Report 1: Defining and Classifying Crime assesses and makes recommendations for the development of a modern set of crime measures in the United States and the best means for obtaining them. This first report develops a new classification of crime by weighing various perspectives on how crime should be defined and organized with the needs and demands of the full array of crime data users and stakeholders.

Scott Trent provided a historical overview of the APB. The APB was created in 1994 using a shared management concept. The APB is a Federal Advisory Committee and is therefore re-chartered every two years. The APB is responsible for reviewing appropriate policy, technical, and operational issues related to CJIS Division programs. Subsequent to their review, the Board makes recommendations to the director of the FBI. The APB is composed of 35 representatives from criminal justice agencies and national security agencies and organizations throughout the United States. The APB meets at least twice during each calendar year. A notice of these meetings is published in the Federal Register. Meetings are open to the public by law and the minutes are posted online. Nick Mega njmegna@fbi.gov is the designated federal officer for the APB. For more information about membership, go to: https://www.fbi.gov/services/cjis/the-cjis-advisory-process.

Kyle Comer (MO) and Scott Trent (FBI CJIS) provided an update on the NIBRS Transition Task Force. Kyle opened with a few quotes from former IJIS Institute Executive Director Paul Wormeli… “better data leads to better information which leads to better knowledge,” and, “NIBRS is actually not about generating crime statistics, it’s about having better information to make better decisions.” Important points from this presentation include:

  • The XCOTA tool is available for use to get to NIBRS.
  • The FBI is trying to make NIBRS pages more user friendly and less text bookish.
  • 10 federal agencies are now reporting and 36 have committed to report. 14 do not report NIBRS since they do not make arrests.
  • State Programs – Mississippi has committed to establish a UCR Program.
  • States with level of agency commitment to meet the 2021 deadline:

o   29 states have 76-100%

o   5 states have 25-75%

o   4 states 26 – 50%

o   8 states 0-25%

 

Amy Blasher (FBI), Jeff Sedgwick (JRSA), Daniel Cork (Natl Academy of Sciences), and Jonathan Hawkins, (Professor at Carnegie Mellon) discussed the modernization of crime statistics. The National Academies of Sciences recently released recommendations for modernizing crime statistics. The study was done at the request of OMB, BJS, and the FBI. In the presentation, they noted that an attribute-based reporting system aligns well with NIBRS, and we can do advanced analysis with this data. With NIBRS, we will have data we never saw before and the possibilities are endless with the advanced crime analysis. An attribute-based system is a stark departure from the current system.

 

The IJIS Institute’s UCR/NIBRS Working Group conducted a session on the Working Group’s activities related to web services for NIBRS. The interactive session was led by Chair Jim Pingel of URL Integration. Other work group members serving on the panel included: Todd Thompson (Caliber Public Safety), Melissa Winesburg (Optimum Technologies), Randy Cole (CODY Systems), Chris Bonyun (Beyond 20/20), Ellie Bennett (Mark43), Michael Wise (FBI-CJIS), and and Patti Zafke (MN BCA).

The session used an interactive polling app to obtain input from participants regarding current methods of submission and plans for submission in the future. Jim Pingel described the collaboration between the IJIS Institute, ASUCRP, and FBI CJIS as working together in emerging technologies to help improve timeliness and efficiencies of crime data submission. The panel provided an overview of submission methods and the benefits of each method. During a discussion of state variations and the potential of XML, panelists talked about extending the NIBRS Specification to capture state-specific requirements. Jim concluding by credited the IJIS Institute for bringing competitors together to work on common problems!

Tags:  ASUCRP  CJIS  NIBRS  UCR 

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IJIS Participates in FBI Advisory Policy Board Meetings

Posted By Bruce Kelling, Monday, May 25, 2015
Updated: Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The IJIS Institute participated in the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Advisory Policy Board meetings in April and represented the interests of industry in a number of discussions. Here are four key highlights from these meetings:

  • A proposal was submitted to the APB’s Identification Services Subcommittee (ISS) by the IJIS Institute Livescan Data Exchange Task Force to inform the ISS of the initiative and request assistance from the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) division and the CJIS Advisory Process and CJIS. The proposal was accepted and approved by the ISS and the IJIS Institute will continue to work with the ISS on the Livescan topic.
  • During the NDEx Subcommittee meeting there was a presentation on the LEXS strategy that expressed the commitment of the DOJ’s Office of the CIO to ownership of LEXS, and requested CJIS (via the NDEx Subcommittee) participate in a new LEXS Planning Committee. The chair asked the IJIS Institute for the IJIS/industry viewpoint, and we noted our endorsement and cited the consensus interest of industry (derived from our December 2014 NCS-X NIBRS meeting) as well as the significance of the LEXS installed base. The NDEx Subcommittee fully endorsed the proposal and IJIS is invited to participate in the LEXS Planning Committee.
  • The UCR/NIBRS subcommittee unanimously voted to sunset UCR in five years, and this now goes to the full APB in June for a decision.
  • Based on requests from CJIS, there will be a meeting in the coming weeks on IJIS/CJIS strategy to look at both the short-term issues and opportunities for engagement, and begin looking at long-term – the Roadmap.  

The IJIS Institute expresses its gratitude to the many Members who participated in the Livescan Data Exchange Task Force and the CJIS Programs Advisory Committee who assisted in the preparation of materials and representatives for these important meetings.

Tags:  APB  CJIS  CPAC  FBI  Livescan  NDEx  NIBRS 

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