Office of Justice Programs Crime Identification Technology Act Web Page

Welcome to the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) Crime Identification Technology Act (CITA) Web Page. The purpose of this page is to offer up-to-date information about OJP's implementation of CITA and aid in the improvement of state and local criminal justice records, technology, and information system improvement.

Watch this page for up-to-date information about OJP solicitations in this area. Click on the following headings to learn more about CITA:

What is CITA?

Other OJP Criminal Justice Technology Efforts


Have Questions? Ask CITA (email specific questions about CITA to OJP staff)

CITA Funding

Other OJP Resources For Criminal Justice Technology

What is CITA?

The Crime Identification Technology Act (CITA) was authorized with the passage of Public Law 105-251 on October 9, 1998, and provides assistance to states to establish or upgrade criminal justice information systems and identification technologies.

CITA expands on the National Criminal History Improvement Program (NCHIP) administered by OJP's Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) and provides assistance for virtually every technology-based, criminal justice information, identification, and communications need. CITA funds also may be used to support state and local-level participation in national databases managed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, such as the National Instant Check System (NICS), Combined DNA Information System (CODIS), and the Interstate Identification Index (III) system. In all, states, in conjunction with local governments, may use funds awarded under CITA to improve or expand criminal justice technology efforts in 17 specified areas. Click here for more information on the 17 Purpose Areas .

In addition to providing this financial assistance, Congress has given OJP discretion to set-aside portions of its CITA appropriation for training, technical assistance, technology development, and evaluation. Click here for a link to the CITA Authorizing Legislation .

Who is eligible?

CITA authorizes states to receive grants for criminal justice records and technology purposes. CITA also allows the Attorney General to use CITA funds to make criminal justice technology and records grants to tribes. Tribes will be eligible for appropriate programs under the CITA solicitations. Click here for a definition of "tribe" . In addition, Congress has earmarked funds for specific technology related programs in Fiscal Year (FY) 2001.

Eligible grantees must meet two assurances for CITA funding. They must demonstrate that they have the capability to contribute pertinent information to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), which provides federal firearms licensees with immediate criminal history data on prospective firearms purchasers. Eligible grantees that are participating in the FBI's Interstate Identification Index (III) system or working actively toward participating in III will be considered to have met this requirement.

Eligible grantees also must demonstrate that they have initiated or will initiate a comprehensive strategy for statewide information sharing. This strategy must emphasize the integration of all criminal justice system components - law enforcement, courts, prosecution, corrections, and probation and parole. States that certify that strategy planning will be initiated will be considered to have met this requirement. In other words, states that are eligible will receive CITA funds in FY 2001 at the same time they are preparing statewide criminal justice information integration plans . Click here for more information on the CITA Strategy Development Requirements .

In addition, CITA requires states to contribute 10 percent of the total costs associated with the criminal justice records and technology projects they undertake with CITA funding. In making this consideration, OJP will take into account all relevant costs borne by the state, regardless of the nature or character of these costs, so long as they truly support the application of technology for the administration of criminal justice.

What resources are available for CITA

On December 21, 2000, the FY 2001 Appropriations Act for the Justice Department and other federal agencies (Public Law 106-553) was signed as law. This Act includes funding for the Crime Identification Technology Act.   The Crime Identification Technology Act itself authorized Congress to spend $250 million each year on CITA.

How does CITA complement current OJP grants and initiatives on criminal justice technology issues?

OJP has taken steps to support criminal justice agencies in their efforts to improve and expand their information technology infrastructure. In addition to administering NCHIP, Safe Schools Technology Initiative, and the DNA Identification/CLIP and DNA Backlog programs, several other OJP programs advance criminal justice technology. For example, NIJ works closely with the Department of Defense to modify Defense-developed technology for law enforcement purposes. NIJ also supports the development of counterterrorism technologies and the creation of standards for their use. In addition, BJS offers technical and financial support to state governments to create and operate statistical analysis centers, which collect, analyze, and report statistics on crime and justice. Likewise, the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) administers the State Identification Systems grants, which enable States to share information and integrate with the FBI's National Crime Information Center (NCIC), the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS), and the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Information System (IAFIS).

Information integration among all components of the criminal justice system and at all levels of government is critical to ensuring that justice is administered swiftly and in an appropriate fashion.   OJP agencies are supporting a number of special initiatives to assess the capabilities and readiness of state and local agencies to fully integrate their criminal justice records and information technology systems through the Integrated Justice Information Technology Initiative . Other OJP Resources For Criminal Justice Technology are available through OJP formula grant programs that may be used for criminal justice technology and records purposes.

Have Questions? Ask CITA

In the event you have additional questions or need help finding other information on CITA or other OJP programs, feel free to Ask CITA .

What are other OJP funding streams that may be used for criminal justice records and technology improvement?

The information that follows describes some of the larger OJP funding streams that may be used to support state, local, and tribal efforts to improve and integrate criminal justice records and technologies. Many of these programs are administered through state agencies: click here to find out who in your state serves as the Point of Contact for these and other OJP programs.

17 Purpose Areas

CITA identifies 17 specific purpose areas in which funds may be used:

  • Improving adult and juvenile criminal history record information systems
  • Creating automated fingerprint identification systems that are compatible with standards established by the Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and are interoperable with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Integrated Automated Fingerprint System
  • Establishing finger imaging, live scan, and other automated systems to digitize and communicate fingerprints consistent with NIST standards and ensure interoperability with print systems operated by the States and the FBI
  • Augmenting state and local participation in the Interstate Identification Index of the National Crime Information System
  • Improving systems to allow any compact relating to the Interstate Identification Index to participate fully in the National Crime Information System
  • Enhancing systems to enhance state and local participation in the FBI's National Instant Check System (NICS), which was authorized with the creation of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act
  • Creating an integrated criminal justice systems, so that law enforcement agencies, courts, prosecutors, and corrections agencies have access to the same information
  • Improving no criminal history record information to determine eligibility to purchase firearms under NICS
  • Developing court-based criminal justice information systems that integrate with other criminal justice information systems and promote the reporting of dispositions to central state repositories and to the FBI
  • Accessing ballistics identification programs and technology that are compatible with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms' National Integrated Ballistics Network
  • Enhancing the capabilities of forensic science laboratories and medical examiner programs
  • Improving sex offender identification, tracking, and registration systems
  • Creating systems to track and share information about domestic violence offenders
  • Supporting fingerprint-supported background checks for non-criminal justice purposes
  • Developing criminal justice information systems that provide research and statistical analysis
  • Establishing multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional communications systems among the States to share information among federal, State, and local law enforcement agencies
  • Enhancing the capability of the criminal justice system to deliver timely, accurate, and complete criminal record information to child welfare agencies, organizations, and programs that are engaged in the assessment of risk and other activities related to the protection of children, including protection against child sexual abuse, and placement of children in foster care

CITA Authorizing Legislation in addition to Purpose Area 17 .

"Tribe" Definition

Under current law, the term "Indian tribe," "tribal" or tribe(s)" in OJP statutes means: "any Indian tribe, band, nation, or other organized group or community, including Alaska Native village or regional or village corporation as defined in or established pursuant to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act [43 U.S.C. ' 1601 et seq.], which is recognized as eligible for the special programs and services provided by the United States to Indians because of their status as Indians."

CITA Strategy Development Requirements

In consultation with State and local officials, this strategy must contain:

  • A definition and analysis of "integration" in the State and among local jurisdictions
  • An assessment of the criminal justice resources being devoted to information technology
  • An assessment of federal, State, regional, and local information technology coordination requirements and needs
  • An assurance that the individuals who developed the grant application consider the needs of all branches of government and specifically seeks the advice of the chief of the highest court of the State with respect to the application
  • State and local resource needs
  • The establishment of Statewide priorities for planning and implementing information technology systems
  • A plan for coordinating programs funded under this title with other federally funded information technology programs, including such programs as the Local law Enforcement Block Grant program

To learn more about programs funded under CITA, use the following links: