Compact Ratification Information

The National Crime Prevention and Privacy Compact was signed into law on October 9, 1998, facilitating electronic information sharing for noncriminal justice purposes among the federal government and the states

Incentives to Adopting the Compact 

  1. Enhancing nationwide public safety by directly providing state criminal history records on an interstate basis for noncriminal justice purposes.

  2. Participation in setting policy related to the dissemination of criminal history record information for noncriminal justice purposes.

  3. Participation in the National Fingerprint File (NFF) which allows the state to reduce duplicative processes and decrease operational expenses.  NFF participation also enhances public safety by providing a state’s records when a national fingerprint-based background check is conducted for noncriminal justice purposes, such as licensing and employment.

Why the Compact Is Needed 

It was determined in the late 1970’s that state criminal history records were more accurate and complete than records maintained at the national level by the FBI, in that the states may have additional arrest and disposition information. 

Because states had varying statutes or policies that restricted the dissemination of records for noncriminal justice purposes, it was determined a federal law, or Compact, was necessary to facilitate interstate criminal history record dissemination authority.

Benefits to the Noncriminal Justice Community 

Compact ratification benefits the noncriminal justice community as it assures that the most complete and accurate criminal history record is made available for licensing and employment purposes on an interstate basis, thus enhancing public safety by protecting some of our most vulnerable populations such as the disabled, the elderly, and children.

Disseminating Records Within a State 

The Compact does not require a signatory state to disseminate its records on an intrastate basis differently than it currently does.  Intrastate dissemination is based on the signatory state’s legislation or executive orders.