DOJ seeks to expand scope of fingerprint record system

Inclusion of Nonserious Offense Identification Records

The Justice Department is seeking to amend regulations that would broaden the scope of offenses that warrant fingerprint entry into the Fingerprint Identification Records System.

Published in today's Federal Register, the proposed amendment would add nonserious offenses and serious adult and juvenile offenses. Currently, these exclusions are documented only at the state and local levels.

The proposal also states that existing rules for collecting criminal record data applied to administrative purposes when the FBI collected fingerprint data manually. Digital fingerprint readers made the data more mobile and faster to gather.

“Digitized fingerprint images require far less storage space than fingerprint cards”

because of an integrated automated fingerprint system, according to the proposal. “Retaining [nonserious offenses] will increase law enforcement's latent fingerprint search capability by increasing the universe of criminal history record fingerprint submissions retained by the FBI,” the proposal states.

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