News Releases
Media > News Releases > April 2024 > Grant Funding Available to Aid Ohio Courts in Reporting Criminal Data to BCI: Yost's Office Earmarks

News Releases

Grant Funding Available to Aid Ohio Courts in Reporting Criminal Data to BCI: Yost's Office Earmarks $2.45 Million for Local Improvements


(COLUMBUS, Ohio) — The office of Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost is accepting applications through mid-May for three pools of federal grant money — $2.45 million in all — to continue improving the accuracy and completeness of the state’s criminal-records database.

“Every Ohioan must be able to trust that our background check system is as comprehensive and current as possible,” Yost said. “Only an ongoing collaborative effort among local law enforcement, the courts, and BCI will help to continue building the public’s trust.”

Since its inception nearly 30 years ago, the National Criminal History Improvement Program (NCHIP) has helped states join with the FBI to build an accurate and accessible national system of criminal records. Cross-state availability of these records is vital for many reasons, including criminal investigations; prosecutorial charges; sentencing decisions; correctional supervision and release; and background checks on those applying for licenses or firearms purchases, and those who work with children, older Ohioans or people with disabilities.

Under Ohio law, the Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation serves as the state’s central repository for all fingerprint and criminal records – information that is supplied to BCI by 88 Common Pleas Courts, more than 120 Municipal Courts, and numerous county and mayor’s courts as criminal cases are adjudicated.

In its role as keeper of the CCH database, the bureau performs background checks for bus drivers, day-care providers, adoptions, and nursing homes and assisted-living facilities. It likewise provides the information used by federal officials for background information on firearm purchasers.

Through the years, BCI has been awarded NCHIP grants to computerize and otherwise modernize numerous aspects of the record-keeping and -reporting processes. The $2.45 million in grant money announced today is part of this multi-pronged effort.

Yost’s office has allocated the funds to provide courts and other qualifying local entities with technological or financial assistance in three ways:

  • $1.2 million will pay for more than 60 LiveScan devices, which Yost’s office will distribute to qualifying entities through an application process.

    All courts of record are eligible to apply for LiveScan units, as is any local governmental agency partnering with a court of record to resolve the issue. The device allows for the capture of fingerprint images as a court interacts with defendants; the fingerprints can be transmitted to BCI once a case disposition is entered.

    A LiveScan application form is available for downloading here.
  • $750,000 will be subgranted to facilitate the electronic reporting of adjudication information by Ohio’s Juvenile Courts.

    About 83% of Juvenile Courts that report adjudication records to BCI send the information by mail. Juvenile Courts and Clerks of Court are eligible to apply for grant funds to help computerize their reporting processes.

    An electronic reporting application is available for downloading here.
  • $500,000 will be subgranted to help defray the costs associated with the recovery of case dispositions not previously reported to BCI. Eligible applicants include Common Pleas Courts, Municipal Courts, County Courts and Clerks of Court.

    A disposition recovery application is available for downloading here.
The Attorney General’s Office has been working on the database improvements with Chief Justice Sharon L. Kennedy of the Supreme Court of Ohio – who sent a letter recently to judges statewide reminding them of their obligation to the process.

“I am writing to emphasize the importance of fingerprinting in criminal case reporting, to reiterate the statutory duties of courts regarding criminal case reporting, and to encourage you to develop systems for criminal case reporting so that you can ensure that your court’s data is reported accurately and timely to Bureau of Criminal Investigation,” Kennedy wrote.

“The overriding question we need to ask ourselves is, ‘What is best for the people we serve?’ Every answer, every solution begins and ends with the people we serve.  There can be no doubt that the accurate reporting of criminal information is the best thing for the people we serve.”  

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

Steve Irwin: 614-728-5417

Bookmark and Share