The interstate availability of computerized criminal records is increasingly vital for criminal investigations, prosecutorial charging, sentencing decisions, correctional supervision and release, community notification, and background checks. Administered by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the NCHIP is an umbrella program to help States meet evolving requirements concerning criminal histories and related records, such as protection orders and sex offender registries. The National Sex Offender Registry Application Program is a component of the NCHIP that assists States in establishing appropriate interfaces with the FBI's national system so that State registry information on sex offenders can be obtained and tracked from one jurisdiction to another. The NCHIP continues in 1998, as indicated in the program announcement. Program goals and the legislative background of the NCHIP are described, along with the program application and award process. Appendixes contain supplemental information on program requirements and application forms.