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Crossmatch Fingerprint Scanners and Software Ensure Courtroom ID

Published originally on asmag.com

Crossmatch Courtroom ID / asmag.comCourtrooms have not historically used biometric technology because fingerprinting has largely been the domain of law enforcement. Recently, however, a large state Superior Court system undertook a grant-backed initiative to determine if there would be any benefit to digital fingerprinting in the courtroom. Crossmatch and another vendor participated in a pilot study utilizing this technology. The goal was to prove that biometric identification can be a value-added solution for the judicial space.

Courtrooms using Crossmatch technology were able to use their existing computer hardware alongside the biometric collection hardware during the trial period. As a result, they decided that there was a benefit to using biometric identification in the courtroom. And as an added bonus, they were pleased with the smooth integration of the Crossmatch solution and ultimately chose to make it a more permanent part of their procedure.

Challenge

Since digital identification within the courtroom is still in its early stages, the challenge was quantifying how digital improves the process. Previously, in-court biometric identification was not done or was an ink-on-paper rolled print affixed to the sentencing order. Without the quality and reliability of digital printing, many inked fingerprints were unusable for matching against the state’s Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) database – leaving the court no automated means of determining if a suspect was printed at arrest due to unsynchronized CMS data and criminal history arrest records.

Solution

The court system needed a solution that would integrate easily into its existing hardware and also provide information that could be compatible with the state forensic information database.

Key priorities:

  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Integration with existing systems
  • Ease of use

 

Crossmatch fingerprint scanners—together with configurable application software—integrated seamlessly into the existing infrastructure. This allowed for high-quality print collection in the courtroom without adding a cumbersome process to an already complex workflow.

Results

The test was a definitive success for the Crossmatch Courtroom Identification solution. At the highest level, this Superior Court had been quickly and effectively looped into a system of biometric identification and the benefits that it provides.

This meant that every stage of the criminal justice process could be seamlessly connected—all through the use of biometrics for positive identification. All of this was accomplished leveraging the courtroom’s existing PC and printer hardware, as the courtrooms were able to use their off-the-shelf printers to print sentencing orders with images of high-quality fingerprints generated by the Crossmatch scanner—something the competitor’s solution was unable to achieve.

Additionally, the Crossmatch Courtroom Identification solution was implemented rapidly. Moving forward, a court system with eight courtrooms can expect integrated deployment in as quickly as four weeks, including training.

The biometric data collected by the fingerprint scanners met the stringent standards set forth by the state’s “gap filler” initiative which require high quality fingerprints for matching purposes. The gap initiative supports a process where criminal history can be created retroactively should a convicted offender appear in the correctional system with no fingerprints on file.

Due to the effectiveness of the Crossmatch solution, the Superior Court System published a white paper supporting the use of biometric identification in courtrooms.