Nevada close to cleaning up years-long criminal paperwork mess

Updated August 11, 2017 - 4:11 pm

CARSON CITY — A years-long criminal records paperwork backlog is close to being resolved, a state official said this week.

The Nevada Department of Public Safety reported in early 2014 that many courts were not reporting convictions and related documents to the state criminal information repository. Nearly 900,000 records had not been entered, meaning law enforcement officials checking on a name during a traffic stop or call for service would only have past arrest information but not the details of any convictions to cases that dated back 20 years.

Julie Butler, administrator of the General Services Division for the Department of Public Safety, said this week the backlog was 260,491 court dispositions as of July 31. Staff is projecting finishing the project this fall, she said.

Lawmakers in 2014 authorized the agency to hire a number of additional staff to help with the data entry.

The process is more complicated than just data entry. In some cases, the court disposition was sent to the agency but not the underlying arrest. For those, staff has to contact the arresting agency, obtain the arrestee’s fingerprints, and then post the disposition.

All Nevada courts were reporting the information as required as of late 2014, so recent actions are up to date.

A combination of factors likely contributed to the backlog, including a lack of resources by some agencies and a turnover of employees leading to a lack of knowledge of the reporting requirement, Butler told state lawmakers in 2014.

Contact Sean Whaley at or 775-461-3820. Follow @seanw801 on Twitter.

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