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THURSDAY, OCTOBER 16, 1997202/307-0703



WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Forty-eight states each were awarded over $172,000 totaling $8.2 million today by the Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) to develop or improve their computerized identification systems and integrate those systems with the Federal Bureau of Investigation's national identification databases. The State Identification Systems (SIS) program, which was authorized by the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, is administered by BJA with grant funding provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

"These grants will assist states achieve compatibility with national identification systems that aid law enforcement investigations," said BJA Director Nancy Gist. "Improving information systems around the nation will help us identify and prosecute offenders in a faster, more efficient manner."

The SIS program will enhance a state's identification capabilities in three areas: computerized identification systems that are compatible and integrated with the databases of the FBI's National Crime Information Center (NCIC), DNA forensic laboratory analysis that is compatible and integrated with the FBI's Combined DNA Index System (CODIS), and automated fingerprint identification systems that are compatible and integrated with the FBI's Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS).

States may use SIS grants for equipment, supplies, training or educational expenses, modifications to space to accommodate equipment, contractor-provided services to address backlog or program implementation issues and state and local personnel expenses.

To be eligible, a state must have a law in place that requires all persons convicted of a felony sex offense to provide appropriate state law enforcement officials with a DNA sample for analysis. Presently, 48 states have such laws in effect. Two states, Rhode Island and Vermont, currently have DNA collection and database legislation pending before their respective state legislatures. There is not a comparable federal law that covers the five territories.

BJA provides leadership and guidance on crime and violence prevention and works in partnership with state and local governments to make communities safe and to improve criminal justice systems. In addition, BJA develops and tests new approaches in criminal justice and crime control, and encourages replication of effective programs and practices by state and local criminal justice agencies.

To obtain additional information on BJA and its programs, you can access the agency's homepage at For additional information about the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) or its other bureaus and programs, visit the OJP website at

Attached is a list of the 1997 SIS grant recipients.

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BJA 97 - 127

After hours contact: James Phillips at 1-888/582-6750 (pager)