Nationwide Corrections Images and Information Exchange over Nlets (NCIEN)


Law enforcement (LE) and public safety officers need data maintained by correction facilities to protect the public, as well as for their own safety. In the 1994 National Recidivism Study of Released Prisoners, an estimated 67.5% of released prisoners were arrested for a felony or serious misdemeanor within three years.

Nlets users will utilize corrections photos to help ID individuals who come into contact with the criminal justice system. Department of Corrections photos will also be used to prevent identity fraud. This is also a way to ensure the data is of sound quality. Such images may also be used to assist LE in locating someone of interest.

The electronic availability of DOC photos helps improve the efficiency of the justice system by improving the ease with which LE can ID an individual. This functionality will also provide users with information concerning an individual’s status under the supervision of a DOC, the supervising agency, and the expected date of release from supervision. This information can be useful in determining whether certain lawful acts may be a violation of an individual’s conditions of supervision.


The purpose of the NCIEN project is to make correction photos available to law enforcement and public safety officers over the Nlets network.

Some states have implemented access to correction photos to law enforcement in their own states, but resource constraints prevent making this information available to other states. Using Nlets will ensure the information is provided to those who need it regardless of what jurisdiction makes the inquiry.

Correction photos will include pictures of inmates, and, where possible, images of scars, marks and tattoos, all of which will be supplemented with supervision requirements. Currently, state and local jail systems collect a myriad of information including photos; however, this information is not available to the roadside officer. As a result, law enforcement agencies are handicapped in their ability to protect and serve.


The NICIEN project involved implementing corrections photo sharing in a minimum of three states.

  1. Implement NCIEN capabilities in at least three states
    • This will include the capability to exchange inmate photos, which, at a minimum, will include inmate entry or exit images; and, may include images of scars, marks and tattoos where it is technically/financially feasible
  2. Create image standards limited to image size and resolution that can be implemented within Nlets’ infrastructure
  3. Update existing technology standards, policy and procedure


The Nlets Internet Portal Solution is already developed and in production. Being a shared source product, any and all agencies will benefit from any upgrades expended by any of the other agencies using the system. Currently, the Nlets Portal has functionality programmed allowing authorized users access to current Nlets services. The functionality is much like many interfaces that we all use on the Internet; its usage is intuitive and the responses are accurate and very fast.

Benefits include:

  • Location-based alerts, including electronic images—GeoSOAPS will build upon the underlying standards to expand the Nlets framework for location-based alert distribution. To support this, Nlets will modify its XML Message Router to interpret location geometry distribution requests based upon the geo-coded Nlets ORI Online (ORION) directory, which contains contact info for every recipient across the network.
  • Web Services Interoperability—Nlets is establishing standards and specifications for next generation web services messaging, including Web Service Interoperability. Nlets will define and implement the appropriate use of EDXL, to include image transfer, within the broader framework of WS-I.
  • GIS tool compatibility in mobile operating environments—A standard transmission spec will support the exchange and rendering of data via mobile/handheld computers, providing LE access to images and local data. Producing an open standards spec, with a focus on interoperability, will ensure correct display of geospatial data from legacy systems.