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Compact History

National Crime Prevention and Privacy Compact History

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Compact History

National Crime Prevention and Privacy Compact
42 U.S.C. 14611-16

What is the Compact

It was determined in the late 1970s that state criminal history records were more accurate and complete, in that the states may have additional arrest and disposition information from state files such as District Attorney records and court records. Because states have varying statutes or policies that restrict the dissemination of records for noncriminal justice purposes, it was determined a federal law, or Compact, was necessary to provide interstate criminal record dissemination authority. For this reason, landmark legislation was signed into law on October 9, 1998 -The National Crime Prevention and Privacy Compact (Compact). This legislation continues the dynamic movement toward decentralization of criminal history record information that began in 1978. The Compact became effective April 28, 1999 when ratified by two states, (See 42 U.S.C.§14611-14616).

Creation of the Compact Council

The Compact established a 15-member Council whose members are appointed by the U.S. Attorney General. The Council is comprised of representatives from federal and state or local criminal and noncriminal justice agencies. The Council monitors the operations of the Interstate Identification Index (III), a national system which facilitates the exchange of automated criminal history record information. The Council also promulgates rules and procedures for the effective and proper use of the III System for noncriminal justice purposes.

Why do we need the Compact?

State laws and policies regarding the dissemination of criminal history record information for noncriminal justice purposes vary widely. Ratification of the Compact enables a state to become an “open record” state by permitting the interstate exchange of criminal history records for noncriminal justice purposes.

National background checks are deemed necessary in today’s transient society in order to protect our nation’s most vulnerable assets -the elderly, disabled, and children. Hence, there is an ever increasing need to evaluate or determine eligibility for various employment and volunteer positions. The demand for background checks for employment and volunteer purposes has more than doubled in recent years.

Steps to Decentralization

  1. States participate in the Interstate Identification Index (III)
    The state’s centralized criminal history record repository agrees to make its III indexed records available in response to requests from federal and out of state criminal justice agencies for criminal justice purposes. The FBI maintains a duplicate record to meet the needs of Federal, state, and local noncriminal justice agencies and private entities that use III information for authorized noncriminal justice purposes.
  2. States ratify the National Crime Prevention and Privacy Compact Act of 1998
    States must make all unsealed criminal history record information available in response to authorized noncriminal justice requests. The Compact, when signed by a state, supersedes any conflicting state laws, and this allows for uniform dissemination among states, while ensuring that each state will participate in the National Fingerprint File (NFF) program.
  3. State participation in the NFF
    The NFF concept places the management and responsibility for the effective control, collection, maintenance, and dissemination of state record files solely with the state. NFF states respond to record requests for all authorized purposes, and the FBI ceases to maintain duplicate records.


Compact Council Mission

The Compact Council as a national independent authority, works in partnership with criminal history record custodians, end users, and policy makers to regulate and facilitate the sharing of complete, accurate, and timely criminal history record information to noncriminal justice users in order to enhance public safety, welfare, and security of Society while recognizing the importance of individual privacy rights.

Globe with People Holding Hands Across It (Stock Image)
III+ COMPACT + NFF = SAFER NATION

Council Chairman
Ms. Dawn A. Peck
Telephone: 208-884-7136
email: dawn.peck@isp.idaho.gov

FBI Compact Officer
Mr.Gary S.Barron
Telephone: 304-625-2803
email:
gary.barron@ic.fbi.gov

Current Compact States


January 2014

For more information contact:
Compact Council Office
1000 Custer Hollow Road
Clarksburg, WV 26306
(304) 625-2803