CJIS Data Standards

The Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division manages information services that are critical to law enforcement and public safety. Providing information in a timely, accurate, and consistent fashion is key to the success of these services. The CJIS Data Standards Team focuses on the mechanism for exchanging this vital information with CJIS' external partners.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has designated the use of eXtensible Markup Language (XML) as the technology for exchanging data. Furthermore, the use of the National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) is preferred. CJIS provides interfaces to its major information services via XML data exchanges that utilize the NIEM model and standards. These NIEM exchanges are provided to exchange partners as Information Exchange Package Documentation (IEPDs).



CJIS data exchanges are specified using XML Schema. Additionally, each exchange has more complex business rules defined specifically for that exchange. CJIS developed the XML Conformance Testing Assistant (XCOTA) tool as a service to validate XML Instances against both XML Schema definitions, as well as the exchange-specific business rules. XCOTA's mission is to aid CJIS exchange partners in the implementation of CJIS data standards, by validating sample XML instances during development, before official system testing begins.

An XCOTA desktop version is available for download. Data exchange partners may download the desktop version to run larger data sets with the benefit of use in an offline environment.

Download XCOTA Desktop (~183MB)


Supported Services

The N-DEx system provides criminal justice agencies with an online tool for sharing, searching, linking, and analyzing information across jurisdictional boundaries. A national repository of criminal justice records submitted by agencies from around the nation, N-DEx enables users to connect the dots between data on people, places, and things that may seem unrelated in order to link investigations and investigators.

Visit the N-DEx website for additional information and to download the N-DEx IEPD.

The Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program has been the starting place for law enforcement executives, students of criminal justice, researchers, members of the media, and the public at large seeking information on crime in the nation. The program was conceived in 1944 by the International Association of Chiefs of Police to meet the need for reliable uniform crime statistics for the nation. In 1930, the FBI was tasked with collecting, publishing, and archiving those statistics.

Today, four annual publications, Crime in the United States, National Incident-Based Reporting System, Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted, and Hate Crime Statistics are produced from data received from over 18,000 city, university/college, county, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement agencies voluntarily participating in the program. The crime data are submitted either through a state UCR Program or directly to the FBI's UCR Program.

In addition to these reports, information is available on the Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted (LEOKA) Program and the Hate Crime Statistics Program, as well as the traditional Summary Reporting System (SRS) and the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS).

Law enforcement agencies collect detailed incident level data regarding individual offenses and arrests and submit them using prescribed data elements and data values. NIBRS presents quantitative and qualitative data that describes each incident and arrest. The NIBRS Map provides the status of NIBRS reporting by state.

Visit the UCR website for additional information and to download the NIBRS IEPD.

The Programs Research and Standards Unit (PRSU) manages the FBI Biometric Specifications (FBIBiospecs) Web Site located at fbibiospecs.fbi.gov. This public site serves as the FBI's primary site for biometrics and standards-related information needed for the successful transmission of biometric data to the Next Generation Identification (NGI) System. FBIBiospecs provides users with access to the Electronic Biometric Transmission Specification (EBTS), the Certified Products List, the Universal Latent Workstation, and the EBTS Compliance Tool Suite. In addition, the Web site also provides information on fingerprint compression; the FBI Iris Pilot; latent print, palm print, and Rapid DNA guidance; and technical and operational updates.

Visit the FBIBiospecs website for additional information.

With a national data collection, data users can view use-of-force incidents involving law enforcement from a nationwide perspective. The goal of the resulting statistics is not to offer insight into single use-of-force incidents, but to provide an aggregate view of the incidents reported and the circumstances, subjects, and officers involved. The data collection focuses on information that is readily known and can be reported within the first few days after a use-of-force occurrence. Statistical reports emphasize the collective nature of the data and will not assess whether the officers involved in use-of-force incidents acted lawfully or within the bounds of department policy. Publications focus on descriptive information, trends, and characteristics of the data.

Visit the Use of Force website for additional information.