The Massachusetts Criminal Justice Information System (CJIS) offers law enforcement and criminal justice agencies continuous access to critical criminal justice information, including Massachusetts and interstate criminal history record information, missing and wanted person data, and driver’s license and motor vehicle information.  The CJIS provides this information directly from the CJIS database as well as through its connections to the FBI’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC) the International Justice and Public Safety Network (Nlets) and more. 

Connecting Hardware Equipment and/or Software to the CJIS Network

There is a wide variety of functionality available via the CJIS network, including numerous criminal justice queries, notifications, and data exchanges.  You must get approval from the Massachusetts Department of Criminal Justice Information Services (DCJIS) before accessing any information or connecting any hardware equipment or software to the CJIS network.  In Massachusetts, all connections to NCIC, Nlets, and other sources go through the CJIS Broker.

See the CJIS Resources for Vendors section of this website for additional information on the process agencies and their selected vendors must follow to request and receive approval to access the CJIS network.  This includes the  CJIS Broker Overview Document pdf format of CJIS Broker Overview Document
as well as the Available CJIS Transactions Appendix pdf format of Available CJIS Transactions Appendix 
, which provides information on the criminal justice transactions currently available.  It also includes the CJIS Vendor Policy Guidelines pdf format of CJIS Vendor Policy Guidelines
, which provides step-by-step instructions for agencies and their vendors to follow to request and receive approval, as well as information about ongoing responsibilities for approved agencies and vendors.  The process must be followed initially as well as at any time an agency or vendor wishes to implement additional CJIS functionality (e.g., implement a new CJIS query in an existing system).

For criminal justice agencies, the CJIS approval process includes, but is not limited to:

  • Agency Support Letter:  Writing a letter of support that describes what functionality is being requested by your agency and why.  This letter must be signed by the Police Chief or Agency Head.
  • Proposed Scope Template:  Working with your vendor to submit a proposal of the technical scope for the technology to be implemented using the CJIS Vendor Proposed Scope pdf format of Proposed Scope Template
file size 1MB template.

If your technical scope proposal is approved by the DCJIS for development and testing:

  • Testing:  Working with your vendor to ensure that the functionality developed meets your business needs.  It also includes working with the EOPSS Office of Technology and Information Services (OTIS) and your vendor to establish connectivity to a test CJIS environment and participating in demonstration tests of the developed functionality with your vendor and the DCJIS.
  • Security Standards:  Working with your vendor and the DCJIS to ensure that all agency and vendor personnel understand and comply with DCJIS and FBI security standards both initially and on an ongoing basis.  This includes activities pertaining to security agreements, fingerprint-based criminal background record checks, security trainings, and more.  See the FBI CJIS Security Policy for additional information.

If approved by the DCJIS for production use:

  • Ongoing Reporting and Compliance:  Providing required information on an annual and as needed basis to ensure compliance with DCJIS and FBI security standards as well as participating in periodic site audits. 

Help and Support

The CJIS Frequently Asked Questions section of this website provides answers to some common questions for criminal justice agencies and their vendors.

The CJIS Support Services Unit (617-660-4710) is available weekdays from 8:00am to 5:00pm to answer questions from the criminal justice user community.  The Office of Technology and Information Services (OTIS) Public Safety Data Center (617-660-4620) is also available 24/7 to respond to technical problems or to assist with application questions.