In May of 2005, the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association (PCPA) requested concept papers from agencies who want to incorporate and implement the technologies used for offender identification to create offender identification and preliminary arraignment processing (central booking) on a regional or countywide basis. These concept papers were reviewed on a competitive basis by a committee and the accepted proposals would be incorporated in a single grant application to the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD). A total of $700,000 in federal funds was expected to be provided by PCCD to support this effort.
Clinton County's Criminal Justice Advisory Board (CCCJAB) decided to submit a concept paper assigning the task to Suzy Watson, Clinton County's IT Director. With input from all county law enforcement agencies (including the Pennsylvania State Police), the county's three District Judges, and advisement and review from GIS Director Jim Watson and City Police Chief Elwood Hocker, a concept paper was created and submitted. In July of 2005 the CCCJAB received notification that our concept paper was selected to receive $68,510 in funding to implement a central booking facility at the Clinton County Correctional Facility in McElhattan.
What is Central Booking?
It is a process through which law enforcement can quickly verify an arrested person’s past criminal history through fingerprints; properly add current arrest information; capture and record their facial image, scars, marks, and tattoos; and present all the information to the District Judge for preliminary arraignment while holding arrestee in a secure facility.
Using national and state standards, the project integrates the technologies of livescan fingerprinting, automated fingerprint identification, digital photography (CPIN), video conferencing, and computerized databases. Within 1 hour information becomes available nationwide.
Image Network (CPIN)
When an offender is processed through our central booking facility, digital photographs will be taken of the face, scars, marks, and tattoos in a statewide standard format. These images then become available to all other users of the CPIN within minutes of the arrest. This means that a person arrested in Erie can be used in a line-up in Philadelphia minutes after their arrest.
Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS)
When an offender is processed through our central booking facility, an electronic digital signature of their finger and palm prints are captured. These finger/palm print images are sent to the AFIS while offender demographics are forwarded to the Criminal Record History Information System. When a person is arrested and booked through the livescan fingerprint network, the system verifies their fingerprints and provides the arresting agency a RAP sheet over CLEAN within minutes. This integrated statewide livescan network provides for the rapid identification of offenders automatically. Once the prints are submitted to livescan, the information goes directly to JNET which provides immediate notification to probation and parole for violators wanted by them. In the same manner, the Department of Corrections is notified when the person arrested is an escapee. Through AFIS, all prints are also compared against latent crime scene prints that may link an offender to an unsolved crime. All prints collected become available locally, statewide and nationwide (including the FBI).
Polycom VSX 3000
Polycom VSX 3000
During the booking process, a preliminary arraignment may be necessary. With central booking, an offender will not need to be transported to the District Judge's office to be arraigned, rather they can stay at the secure booking facility until dismissed, released on bail, or incarcerated.
Central Booking Centers have the potential to impact the criminal justice system in a positive way. The ultimate impact of the booking center is its effect on processing a suspect in an efficient manner that provides cost savings to the county and enhances safety for our community.
Increased Public Safety:
Officers return to patrol quicker
Offender is positively identified through biometrics (fingerprints, facial recognition, scars, markings, tattoos)
Risk factors are rapidly identified
Offender is secured in one location until identified and arraigned reducing escape probability and liability
Automatic notifications sent to DA, Probation, and Parole through JNET within minutes while offender in custody
Increased Homeland Security:
Offender’s biometrics are checked automatically against State and Federal databases while they are in custody
Officers return to patrol quicker
Redundant data entry eliminated and mistakes reduced
Lost time waiting for preliminary arraignment
Booking staff vs. sworn salary
Increased Decision Making:
Prosecutor’s see case at arrest
Offender’s identity and criminal history are available for preliminary arraignment
Evidence gathering needs rapidly identified
Increased Offender Protection:
Secure facility without need for movement
Better access to public defenders/lawyers
Medical needs uniformly identified
Current Procedure Weaknesses
Through the information gathering process to prepare the concept paper, many weaknesses with current procedures were identified.
Public Safety/Homeland Security:
Officers spend excessive time processing offender instead of patrolling beat
Fingerprints collected with ink and placed on 4 separate cards
Fingerprints not entered into State or National systems or any checks run for weeks/months after collected
If errors found with prints, cannot require offender to be re-printed
No guarantee that offender will follow court order to appear for fingerprinting after arraignment
Secure Holding Facilities:
With the exception of the County’s Sheriff’s Department, no other law enforcement facility in Clinton County has humane holding facilities
Increased escape or injury liabilities (offender and law enforcement) while in custody
Offender Data Collection:
Data collected not shared outside of arresting agency and in most agencies data is collected in paper (not electronic) format
Data and photographs not available or standardized to other local, state, or federal agencies
No procedures in place to prevent data loss during a catastrophic event
ultimate impact of a central booking facility is its effect on
processing a suspect in an efficient manner that provides systemic
inter-operability, cost savings to the participants, while at the
same time enhancing public safety. Implementation will provide
complete offender identification and processing for Clinton County
in its entirety. Every person arrested in our county will be
electronically fingerprinted and photographed, have their state and
FBI Criminal History Record automatically updated, the District
Attorney’s office notified, and the arrested person is quickly and
efficiently presented for their preliminary arraignment. Securing
this Grant will maximize the efforts of a limited number of law
enforcement officers within the County while at the same time
enhancing criminal justice efforts with extraordinary results.
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