Contact: John Caher, Press Office
New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services
(518) 457-8415 or (518) 225-5240 – cell
john.caher@dcjs.ny.gov

For release: Monday, April 5, 2010

DCJS Touts Criminal Justice Accomplishments

Acting Commissioner Byrne cites “extraordinary progress” despite cutbacks

The New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services last year processed 596,186 arrest fingerprints in an average turnaround time of 23 minutes, Acting Commissioner Sean M. Byrne announced today.

Acting Commissioner Byrne noted that despite the fact that agency staffing has declined 8 percent in the last three years, a recent “performance measurement” analysis showed that DCJS and its partner criminal justice agencies performed at an exceptionally, and in some cases record-setting, level last year.

“Governor Paterson has made it very clear that we must not only make do with less, we must do better with less,” Acting Commissioner Byrne said. “We have cut staff, overtime and other costs and, at the same time, we have achieved an extraordinary turnaround time for criminal fingerprint processing, witnessed the shortest processing time ever for DNA and accounted for 95.4 percent of the approximately 30,000 sex offenders on the state registry.”

Acting Commissioner Byrne said DCJS continually tracks the performance of the agency and its criminal justice partners. A year-end analysis for 2009 – when statewide crime decreased 3.6 percent – shows that:

  • The DCJS identification unit far surpassed its target of processing criminal fingerprints within 45 minutes and reported back to law enforcement agencies an average of 23 minutes after receiving prints, down from 32 minutes in 2008. DCJS has strongly promoted electronic submissions of fingerprints and currently 97.5 percent of criminal prints are submitted electronically.
  • The New York State Police forensic lab processed convicted offender DNA samples in an average of 36 days, compared to 210 days in 2007. Additionally, the number of convicted offender samples awaiting analysis declined from nearly 50,000 in 2006 to 4,679 last year. There is currently no backlog.
  • Through an aggressive address verification initiative, the whereabouts of 95.4 percent of sex offenders are verified. When a sex offender fails to verify his or her address, as required by law, DCJS contacts local law enforcement and asks them to seek an arrest warrant.
  • In 2009, 97 percent of sex offenders were registered within standards (one day when a complete registration form is received; two days when an incomplete form is received). That compares to 91 percent in 2008.

Acting Commissioner Byrne noted that staffing at DCJS has declined from 704 in 2007 to 645 in 2010, overtime has been cut from $174,227 in 2007 to $26,302 in 2009 and the state taxpayer-funded portion of the budget declined from $64 million in 2008-09 to $60 million in 2009-10