The FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division

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The FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division (CJIS) is the world’s largest repository of criminal history records and fingerprints…it is home to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) that local, state and federal law enforcement personnel can access every hour and day of the year…and more!

“Nestled in the hills of West Virginia is a high-tech hub that supports crime-fighting and national security,” states the CJIS homepage. “Here, statisticians are compiling vast amounts of data from law enforcement into a series of regular reports detailing the state of crime in communities across the country.”

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“Nestled in the hills of West Virginia is a high-tech hub that supports crime-fighting and national security…”


Some Impressive Stats

  • As of 2012, the NCIC contains more than 18.1 million records on missing persons, fugitives, registered sex offenders, gangs, terrorist activities and other information relevant to the law enforcement personnel who access database. The amount of information has grown significantly since the NCIC began in 1967 with approximately 95,000 records. “In fiscal year 2012, the NCIC processed an average of 8,758,485 million transactions per day,” states the CJIS Annual Report 2012.
  • The IAFIS (Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System) began in 1999 and at that time processed around 42,203 per day. “[It] now has the capability to process up to 400,000 ten-print fingerprint and latent searches daily,” states a CJIS fact sheet from August 2011.
  • The CJIS’ National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) is accessed by Federal Firearms Licensees to evaluate whether a person is eligible to purchase and possess firearms. “The…NICS is all about saving lives and protecting people from harm—by not letting guns and explosives fall into the wrong hands,” states CJIS’ NICS webpage. “It also ensures the timely transfer of firearms to eligible gun buyers.” According to the CJIS Annual Report 2012, 17,924,601 million background checks via the NICS were completed during the 2012 fiscal year.
  • There are almost 150 million records (and almost one billion items, i.e. persons, events, etc) in the Law Enforcement National Data Exchange (N-DEx). The N-DEx is the only law enforcement tool of its kind in the country and allows criminal justice agencies at all government levels to share, access and evaluate relevant data (from arrest reports to probation and parole details).

The CJIS manages a range of other tools and services, including biometrics, communication/collaboration portals for law enforcement agencies, intelligence, uniform crime reporting methods and more.


Are you intrigued with the CJIS? Wondering if you could work for the division some day? According to the CJIS’ “Life at the FBI”, the Division employs personnel for several positions, including fingerprint examiners, identification records examiners, statisticians, information technology specialists and program analysts. Check out our school pages to find out about relevant degree programs (such as those related to computer science, information management, analysis, statistics, business etc) for these careers.