Biometric Identification

Biometric identification is the standard for ensuring criminal information pertains to the correct individual.  All states and the FBI use a form of biometric identification based on fingerprint images to uniquely identify a person. This ID may be referred to as the State Identification Number (SID) or FBI Number. Not all justice data systems capture this information. Much of the disposition data received from other data systems cannot be matched on the criminal history resulting in incomplete records.  The data compiled in a criminal history is very accurate, but also often incomplete.

Nationally, most law enforcement capture electronic fingerprints and SID numbers if an offender is booked into a corrections facility, which generates a new arrest on a criminal history record. However, many offenses are handled through citations that do not require a person to be transported to a jail. This presents challenges when matching the corresponding citation disposition to an arrest record at the criminal history repository. All stakeholders should capture biometric identifier(s) at key steps in the criminal justice life cycle to support criminal history record creation/segments of the arrest cycle (arrest, first appearance, court disposition).  This addresses lack of biometrically supported data and gaps from cite and release.

Resources: Livescans in Courtrooms - An Examination of Several Pilot Programs in Ohio

Confirming identity at all steps in the criminal justice life cycle when offender/defendant appears before any justice agency (including court appearances, probation appearance, etc.) ensures that court parties are the subjects of the proceedings. While rare, justice entities have encountered circumstances where a different person appears in court on behalf of the accused individual. An identification confirmation process can also facilitate matching a court disposition to an arrest record, as the identification matching also generates an arrest record in the criminal history repository.

Case Study: Connecticut's Felony Arrest and Dispositions Record Matching