|NCAWARE Fact Sheet
Real-time information available to law enforcement
- NCAWARE is an acronym for the North Carolina Warrant Repository.
- The system was designed to issue and track warrants for all wanted persons in North Carolina.
- NCAWARE maintains detailed information about criminal processes, such as warrants, magistrate orders, citations that lead to an arrest, criminal summons, orders for arrest, release orders, and appearance bonds. It also tracks information and details for all people and businesses involved in such processes.
- NCAWARE is a custom-developed, web-based system that was designed, written, tested and implemented by the N.C. Judicial Department's Administrative Office of the Courts (NCAOC). NCAOC also trains law enforcement officers and court officials statewide to use the program.
- Although not all counties are yet using the program, all magistrates have access to the warrants in it through the Statewide Warrant Search.
- As each county implements NCAWARE, their unserved criminal summons, warrants and orders for arrest information in ACIS (Automated Criminal Infraction System) for the year 2000 and forward will be converted. The current estimate of potentially unserved processes available for conversion for all 100 counties is estimated at nearly three quarters of a million records. This figure is made up of approximately 350,000 orders for arrest and 350,000 criminal summons and warrants.
- This statewide system launched in June 2008 in Johnston County and is being rolled out county-by-county. Thirteen other counties currently are using the system: Harnett, Lee, Edgecombe, Nash, Wilson, Greene, Wake, Wayne, Martin, Orange, Chatham, Person and Durham. Statewide implementation of the system is expected to be complete in 2010.
- Once the system is fully implemented in all 100 counties, the number of users of NCAWARE, including law enforcement, is estimated to reach 35,000.
- Once fully implemented, NCAWARE replaces the current computer-based Magistrate System. Person records and processes will be converted from the Magistrate System as the program is implemented in each county. The number of person records available for conversion (i.e., defendants, complainants and witnesses) is estimated to exceed five million).
Interface with other computer information systems
- The system provides electronic orders in real time to law enforcement officers, thus replacing the older paper-based system.
- NCAWARE expedites the process of finding and serving warrants for wanted persons.
- Any N.C. law enforcement agency using the system can serve any outstanding process, no matter who is currently assigned to the process. The system can be accessed from law enforcement vehicles, which expedites the process of finding and serving a warrant.
- With NCAWARE, during a routine traffic stop, a law enforcement officer has the information needed to apprehend someone who may be wanted for other, even more serious, offenses. Law enforcement officers can search NCAWARE to see if that person has any out standing warrants for arrest. NCAWARE provides the officer with information to determine whether the offender is safe to approach or whether other officers should be called to the scene. NCAWARE also allows real-time service of out-of-county processes.
- A printed copy of the warrant is valid for 24 hours from the time it is printed.
- In addition to the five million person records, more than 400,000 images, such as mug shots of the defendants, will also be converted and become available as counties are implemented.
History and funding
- NCAWARE interfaces with the Division of Motor Vehicles' drivers' license and registration systems to automatically populate defendant and vehicle information, the State Highway Patrol to verify officer numbers and citations, and NCAOC's Automated Criminal Infraction System (ACIS) to automatically populate cases and to track processes.
- Data entered in NCAWARE is real-time and updates ACIS for courthouse clerk staff.
- A study committee of the N.C. Legislature outlined six major steps to build a criminal justice information network in the state. In response, the Legislature wrote HB1583 to establish the use of enhanced electronic technology in criminal process and procedure; thus the creation of NCAWARE.
- The creation and development of the system was achieved in partnership with several state and local government agencies – the State Bureau of Investigation, local law enforcement agencies, the Department of Correction, the Division of Motor Vehicles, and the State Highway Patrol – as well as law enforcement officials, magistrates, clerks, judges and district attorneys, who are end users that helped design and test the application.
- Funds to develop NCAWARE came from the N.C. General Assembly and the N.C. Governor's Crime Commission.