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Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost Announces Grant Opportunities to Enhance Criminal Records Database


Columbus, Ohio – Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost’s office has opened applications for three pools of federal grant money totaling $2.45 million, aimed at enhancing the accuracy and completeness of the state’s criminal-records database. The application period will run through mid-May.

Ensuring the accuracy and reliability of the background check system is paramount for building trust among Ohioans, according to Yost. He emphasized the necessity of collaboration among local law enforcement, the courts, and the Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) to maintain public trust in the system.

The National Criminal History Improvement Program (NCHIP), in operation for nearly three decades, has played a crucial role in aiding states, including Ohio, to enhance their criminal records systems in collaboration with the FBI. The availability of comprehensive and up-to-date criminal records across states is vital for various purposes, including criminal investigations, prosecutorial decisions, sentencing, and background checks for licensing, firearm purchases, and employment involving vulnerable populations.

Under Ohio law, the Bureau of Criminal Investigation serves as the central repository for all fingerprint and criminal records in the state, sourced from various courts handling criminal cases.

The $2.45 million in grant money will be allocated to support technological or financial assistance for courts and other qualifying local entities in three main areas:

  1. LiveScan Devices: Over $1.2 million will be allocated to procure more than 60 LiveScan devices, which capture fingerprint images for transmission to BCI upon case disposition. Courts of record and local governmental agencies partnering with courts are eligible to apply for these devices.
  2. Electronic Reporting of Adjudication Information: Approximately $750,000 will be subgranted to facilitate the electronic reporting of adjudication information by Ohio’s Juvenile Courts, aiming to streamline reporting processes currently reliant on mail.
  3. Costs Associated with Recovery of Case Dispositions: Around $500,000 will be subgranted to defray costs related to the recovery of case dispositions not previously reported to BCI. Eligible applicants include various court types and Clerks of Court.

Applications for these grants are open until May 15, 2024.

The Attorney General’s Office has collaborated closely with Chief Justice Sharon L. Kennedy of the Supreme Court of Ohio to advance database improvements, underscoring the importance of accurate criminal information reporting for serving the people of Ohio effectively. Chief Justice Kennedy has urged judges statewide to uphold their statutory duties in criminal case reporting to ensure data accuracy and timeliness.

The deadline for submitting grant applications is May 15, 2024.