Automated Biometric Identification System

As of June 18, 2019, the Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS) included over 862,229 10-print cards and nearly 19,287 latent prints. ABIS is available to all criminal justice agencies throughout Iowa for use in criminal investigations. During fiscal year 2018, 63,700 10-print "hits" were made via ABIS.

A 10-print card is a card usually 8” x 8” which has a permanent set of an individual’s fingerprints on it. There are 10 individual blocks, one for each finger and are numbered 1 through 10, starting with the right thumb and concluding with the left little finger.  These prints, referred to as “rolled impressions”, represent each finger which must be rolled from one side of the fingernail to the other side of the fingernail.  Below the 10 blocks are two blocks for printing four fingers simultaneously and two blocks for printing the thumbs.  These prints are called “plain impressions” and are used to make sure that the sequences of the fingers were printed correctly in the rolled impressions.  Above the fingerprint blocks are spaces for descriptive data of the individual such as name, sex, race, height, weight, a date of birth, place of birth, social security number, arresting agency, reason for arrest, and other identifying information. There are two types of 10-print cards, one is criminal which is used when an arrest is made, and the other is civil which is used for anything other than criminal.

A “hit” in ABIS occurs when a print lifted from a crime scene or a fingerprint taken at the time of arrest matches one in ABIS database.  The main ABIS computer is located in DCI headquarters in Des Moines.  Additionally there are 7 Expert Latent terminals at criminal laboratories located throughout the state, thereby permitting easy access by Iowa law enforcement officials.

Livescan sites were introduced in FY 1999.  Livescan is a method of sending required arrest fingerprint cards electronically from a police agency to the central site at DCI. There are currently 72 Livescans located throughout the state. One set of fingerprints can be rolled with as many as 99 copies being able to be printed. The addition of Livescan terminals at various locations around the state has helped expedite the process of creating and updating criminal history information maintained by the Division. In addition, there are 33 Card Scan locations throughout the state. A Law Enforcement Agency is able to process their bookings using black printers ink and scan the arrest card. The arrest card is then sent to the state electronically allowing the DCI to expedite the process of criminal cards from non Livescan agencies.