Sixteen Native American tribes added to biometric background check program

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The US Department of Justice has added sixteen federally recognized indigenous tribes to its Tribal Access Program, which grants tribal leaders access to major national crime data systems for biometric background checks.

Biometric kiosks to process fingerprints and other identification data are part of the package for tribes, who will also receive training, software and the ability to enter and exchange information in databases, including those operated by the FBI, according to a Department announcement.

Speaking on behalf of the DOJ, Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco said inclusion in the program will allow tribes “to register sex offenders, protect victims of domestic violence, prevent people prohibited from obtaining firearms and helping to locate missing persons”.

The Department launched the Tribal Access Program in 2015, with funding from the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Supervision, Arrest, Registration and Tracking (SMART), Office of Community Based Policing (COPS), Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) and Office of Violence Against Women (OVW). According to the program’s website, it enables tribes to “more effectively serve and protect their nation’s citizens by ensuring the exchange of critical data between criminal justice information service systems.”

In addition to criminal justice applications, the system has also been used to share information on missing persons and perform biometric checks on the records of employees and volunteers who work with children.

A dozen Tribes were added to the list of participants in the TAP last September.

Article topics

background checks | biometrics | criminal identification | data sharing | Ministry of Justice | fingerprint recognition | United States Government

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