Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2004, $446,904)
The DNA Capacity Enhancement Program for Fiscal Year 2004 provides funding, based on crime statistics (Part I Violent Crimes), to existing State and local government crime laboratories that conduct DNA analysis. The program is designed to:
- Provide Basic Infrastructure Support: Some public crime laboratories still need assistance to help them obtain equipment and material to conduct the basic processes of DNA analysis- extraction, quantitation, amplification and analysis- and to help them satisfy Federal quality assurance standards and meet various accreditation requirements.
- Build Infrastructure through Laboratory Information Management Systems: Laboratory Information Management Systems, or "LIMS," are designed to automate evidence handling and casework management, to improve the integrity and speed of evidence handling procedures, and to ensure proper chain of custody. DOJ estimates that only 10 percent of the public DNA laboratories have LIMS.
- Provide Automation Tools to Public DNA Laboratories: To streamline aspects of the DNA analysis procedure that are labor and time-intensive, crime laboratories should have automated systems, such as robotic DNA extraction units. Automated DNA analysis systems increase analyst productivity, limit the potential for human error, and reduce the potential for contamination.
- Provide Support for the Retention and Storage of Forensic Evidence: Forensic evidence must be stored in a manner that ensures its integrity and maintains its availability throughout criminal investigations and judicial proceedings. Appropriate evidence storage conditions require costly equipment such as security systems, environmental control systems, ambient temperature monitors, and de-humidifiers. The program will support the improvement of evidence storage capabilities.
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