Legislative Service Commission
Sub. H.B. 4*
126th General Assembly
(As Reported by S. Judiciary on Criminal Justice)
Reps. Dolan, Latta, D. Evans, Gilb, Hughes, Seitz, Perry, Allen, Brown, Bubp, Calvert, Cassell, Coley, DeBose, Distel, Domenick, C. Evans, Flowers, Gibbs, Hagan, Hartnett, Hoops, Key, Law, Martin, McGregor, Miller, Oelslager, Otterman, T. Patton, Reidelbach, Reinhard, Schaffer, Schlichter, Seaver, Setzer, G. Smith, J. Stewart, Strahorn, Wagner, Wagoner, Walcher, Widener, Widowfield, Williams, Wolpert
Existing law creates the Office of Criminal Justice Services (OCJS). The Governor appoints the Director of OCJS, and the Director appoints OCJS's staff. Existing law assigns OCJS numerous criminal justice-related duties, including: (1) serving as the state criminal justice services agency and performing criminal justice system planning in the state, including any planning required by any federal law, (2) collecting, analyzing, and correlating information and data concerning the criminal justice system in the state, (3) cooperating with and providing technical assistance to state departments, administrative planning districts, metropolitan county criminal justice services agencies, criminal justice coordinating councils, agencies, offices, and departments of the criminal justice system in the state, and other appropriate organizations and persons, (4) encouraging and assisting agencies, offices, and departments of the criminal justice system in the state and other appropriate organizations and persons to solve problems that relate to the duties of OCJS, and (5) administering within the state any federal criminal justice acts that the Governor requires it to administer (see COMMENT 1 for other duties assigned to, and activities authorized for, OCJS). (R.C. 181.52.)
Operation of the bill
The bill expands the duties of OCJS to also require it, subject to the provision described in the last paragraph of this part of this analysis, to develop and maintain the Ohio Incident-Based Reporting System to facilitate the sharing of information with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and participating law enforcement agencies in Ohio. The Reporting System is to be known as OIBRS. (R.C. 181.52(B)(16) and (C).)
The bill requires OCJS, in connection with OIBRS, to do all of the following (R.C. 181.52(C)):
(1) Collect and organize statistical data for reporting to the National Incident-Based Reporting System operated by the FBI for the purpose of securing federal criminal justice grants (see COMMENT 2);
(2) Analyze and highlight mapping data for, and distribute data and analyses to, participating law enforcement agencies;
(3) Encourage nonparticipating law enforcement agencies to participate in OIBRS by offering demonstrations, training, and technical assistance;
(4) Provide assistance, advice, and reports requested by the Governor, the General Assembly, or the FBI;
(5) Require every law enforcement agency that receives federal criminal justice grants or state criminal justice information system General Revenue Funds through OCJS to participate in OIBRS or in the Uniform Crime Reporting Program of the FBI (see COMMENT 3). An agency that submits OIBRS data to the Ohio Local Law Enforcement Information Sharing Network (OLLEISN; see COMMENT 4) is in compliance with this requirement if OLLEISN is capable of collecting OIBRS data and OCJS has the ability to extract the OIBRS data for reporting to the National Incident-Based Reporting System in the manner required by the FBI.
The bill specifies that its provisions described above do not limit the discretion or authority of the AG with respect to crime victim assistance and criminal justice programs. It also expands the existing provision that states that nothing in R.C. 181.52 is intended to diminish or alter the status of the office of the AG as a criminal justice services agency so that the provision also specifies that nothing in the section is intended to diminish or alter the status or discourage the development and use of other law enforcement information systems in Ohio. (R.C. 181.52(E) and (F).)
1. Existing R.C. 181.52 assigns other duties to, and authorizes other activities by, the Office of Criminal Justice Services.
(a) Mandatory duties. R.C. 181.52(B) specifies that, subject to R.C. 181.52(E), as described below in (c), and subject to R.C. 5120.09(D) to (F) insofar as those divisions relate to federal criminal justice acts that the Governor requires the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction to administer, OCJS must do all of the following, in addition to all of the duties described above in the CONTENT AND OPERATION portion of this analysis:
(i) Administer funds received under the federal Family Violence Prevention and Services Act, as amended, with all powers necessary for the adequate administration of those funds, including the authority to establish a family violence prevention and services program.
(ii) Implement the state comprehensive plans;
(iii) Audit grant activities of agencies, offices, organizations, and persons that are financed in whole or in part by funds granted through the office;
(iv) Monitor or evaluate the performance of criminal justice system projects and programs in the state that are financed in whole or in part by funds granted through the office;
(v) Apply for, allocate, disburse, and account for grants that are made available pursuant to federal criminal justice acts, or made available from other federal, state, or private sources, to improve the criminal justice system in the state. All money from such federal grants must, if the terms under which the money is received require that the money be deposited into an interest-bearing fund or account, be deposited in the state treasury to the credit of the Federal Program Purposes Fund.
(vi) Contract with federal, state, and local agencies, foundations, corporations, businesses, and persons when necessary to carry out the duties of OCJS;
(vii) Oversee the activities of metropolitan county criminal justice services agencies, administrative planning districts, and criminal justice coordinating councils in the state;
(viii) Advise the General Assembly and Governor on legislation and other significant matters that pertain to the improvement and reform of criminal and juvenile justice systems in the state;
(ix) Prepare and recommend legislation to the General Assembly and Governor for the improvement of the criminal and juvenile justice systems in the state;
(x) Assist, advise, and make any reports that are requested or required by the Governor, AG, or General Assembly;
(xi) Adopt rules pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act.
(b) Authorized activities. R.C. 181.52(C) specifies that, upon the request of the Governor, OCJS may do any of the following: (i) collect, analyze, or correlate information and data concerning the juvenile justice system in the state, (ii) cooperate with and provide technical assistance to state departments, administrative planning districts, metropolitan county criminal justice service agencies, criminal justice coordinating councils, agency offices, and the departments of the juvenile justice system in the state and other appropriate organizations and persons, and (iii) encourage and assist agencies, offices, and departments of the juvenile justice system in the state and other appropriate organizations and persons to solve problems that relate to the duties of OCJS.
(c) Related provisions. R.C. 181.52(D) provides that the existing provisions that assign duties to, and authorize activities by, OCJS do not limit the discretion or authority of the AG with respect to crime victim assistance and criminal justice programs. R.C. 181.52(E) specifies that nothing in R.C. 181.52 is intended to diminish or alter the status of the office of the AG as a criminal justice services agency.
2. According to the website of the FBI, its National Incident-Based Reporting System, or NIBRS, is (see: http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/faqs.htm):
. . . an incident-based reporting system through which data are collected on each single crime occurrence. NIBRS data are designed to be generated as a by-product of local, state, and federal automated records systems. Thus, an agency can build a system to suit its own needs, including any collection/storage of information required for administrative and operational purposes, in addition to reporting data required by NIBRS to the national UCR Program. NIBRS collects data on each single incident and arrest within 22 offense categories made up of 46 specific crimes called Group A offenses. For each of the offenses coming to the attention of law enforcement, specified types of facts about each crime are collected. In addition to the Group A offenses, there are 11 Group B offense categories for which only arrest data are reported.
3. According to the website of the FBI, its Uniform Crime Reporting Program, or UCR, is ". . . a city, county, and state law enforcement program which provides a nationwide view of crime based on the submission of statistics by law enforcement agencies throughout the country." The selected offenses to which the Program applies are murder and non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson. The Program collects data ". . . on known offenses and persons arrested by police departments. Findings of a court, coroner, jury, or the decision of a prosecutor are not recorded since the intent of the data collection is specifically to assist in identifying law enforcement problems." Participation in the program is strictly voluntary but, ". . . (d)uring 1995, law enforcement agencies active in the Program represented nearly 251 million United States inhabitants or 95 percent of the Nation's total population." (see: http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/ucrquest.htm.)
The National Incident-Based Reporting System is a newer system than the UCR that collects data on each single incident and arrest within specified crime categories from participating states. While both systems are currently in operation, it is the intent that eventually the National Incident-Based Reporting System will replace the traditional summary reporting system. (See National Incident-Based Reporting System, Volume 1: Data Collection guidelines, available at http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/nibrs/manuals/v1all.pdf.)
4. According to the Ohio Department of Public Safety, the Ohio Local Law Enforcement Information Sharing Network ("OLLEISN") is a new program that will allow Ohio law enforcement agencies to electronically share record information. The program aims to prevent terrorism and other types of crimes as well as help solve communication-related challenges involved in multi-agency investigations. Twenty-three agencies are participating in the start-up phase of the program with more than 600 agencies expected to join the program by the end of 2005. The ultimate goal is to have every law enforcement agency in Ohio participating in the program. The program is funded by federal homeland security dollars. (See http://www.publicsafety.ohio.gov/news/2005/3_1_05_OLLEISN.pdf.)
* This analysis was prepared before the report of the Senate Judiciary on Criminal Justice Committee appeared in the Senate Journal. Note that the list of co-sponsors and the legislative history may be incomplete.