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Develop and implement a DNA cold-hit tracking system for use by forensic labs, law enforcement and district attorneys.

Award Information

Award #
2007-DN-BX-0011
Location
Congressional District
Status
Closed
Funding First Awarded
2007
Total funding (to date)
$446,343
Original Solicitation

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2007, $406,343)

The National District Attorneys Association, (NDAA) working in partnership with the National Institute of Justice, (NIJ) proposes a two-year National Cold Hit Reporting Initiative designed to develop, implement and promote a computer/web-based system designed to track DNA cold hits from the initial forensic lab notification to law enforcement and prosecution through the final case outcome whether by plea, trial or declination. NDAA's goal is to promote and enhance relevant stakeholders' (lab personnel, prosecutors and law enforcement) understanding of the need to track cold hits and provide them with the tools to facilitate tracking and reporting these hits. In the initial phase of the project, NDAA will hold a joint meeting of the four pilot communities and compile a written report to NIJ summarizing the issues, progress and performance data obtained during this period. During the second phase of this partnership, NDAA will organize and conduct a one day Symposium of twenty communities to showcase the pilot communities' progress. Specific objectives during for this Initiative are:
' Develop and implement a DNA cold hit tracking system for use by forensic labs, law enforcement and district attorneys.
' Conduct a 1 day symposium to promote and showcase pilot tracking jurisdictions' progress.
' Prepare a monograph describing lessons learned and best practices associated with developing a national cold hit reporting initiative.
' NDAA will aggressively market national awareness of the need for tracking DNA hits and capitalize on its unique relations with prosecutor and law enforcement associations.
' NDAA will provide on-going technical assistance during this Initiative.

ca/ncf

The National District Attorneys Association, (NDAA) has been working on the National Cold Hit Reporting Initiative (grant #2007-DN-BX-0011) to assist states in tracking DNA cold hits from the initial forensic lab notification to law enforcement and prosecution through the final case outcome. NDAA's goal through this project is to promote and enhance relevant stakeholders' (lab personnel, prosecutors and law enforcement) understanding of the need to track cold hits, guide them through the process of tracking these hits and reporting summary data periodically to NDAA regarding progress made. Through this Addendum NDAA will work with one state forensic laboratory/jurisdiction already employing a Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) for the purpose of developing a jurisdictionally customized tracking module capable of following a cold hit through case conclusion. After the initial period of NDAA assistance (not to exceed 12 months) the individual jurisdiction will be responsible for maintaining the tracking system and continuing to report summary data. Specific objectives during for this Addendum are: ' Selecting one state forensic laboratory/jurisdiction currently employing a LIMS program. ' Meet with laboratory/law enforcement and district attorney personnel from the jurisdiction to identify the specific categories of criminal cases (and associated state statutes) through which the cold hits will be tracked; key personnel and agencies having input into these cases and specific points of case flow information relevant to the needs of that jurisdiction (for example: victim located; confirmatory sample obtained, charges filed, etc.) ' Contract with the jurisdiction's currently engaged LIMS software company to modify/customize a pre-existing LIMS program to track the progression of the cold hit and periodically compile summary data to be reported to NDAA. ' Contract with the LIMS software company to conduct an onsite seminar within the jurisdiction to train key laboratory/law enforcement and district attorney personal in the use of the tracking system. ca/ncf

Date Created: September 13, 2007