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Examining the Policies, Practices, and Implications of Collecting DNA from Arrestees

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2009, $314,024)

This study will examine the policies, practices, and implications of expanding state and federal DNA databases to include arrestees. Fifteen states and the federal government have enacted legislation requiring DNA collection from arrestees, and similar legislation has been introduced in other states. Yet little is known about the implementation of these laws, either the public safety benefits or the associated fiscal, legal, and logistical challenges.

The study will include several complementary data collection and analysis
methods. These methods include research and analysis of the laws, regulations, and case law governing the collection of arrestee DNA. The project will also include a survey of all states with arrestee DNA laws about their implementation experiences. The project team will also collect descriptive statistics from states about arrestees at various points in the DNA collection process and parallel case processing system, enabling them to analyze the impact of arrestee DNA collection. Finally five site visits will be conducted to learn more about perceived advantages and challenges of collecting arrestee DNA to further assess the effects of the laws.

The project approach builds on the knowledge and experience acquired during similar ongoing projects, Assessing the Performance of Juvenile DNA Systems, and therefore will use DOJ resources more efficiently.

The proposed research should have important implications for policy, practice, and research. The research will inform states considering adopting new legislation or amending current laws, federal policymakers investing in the expanded collection of DNA, and researchers assessing the effects of using DNA as an investigative tool.


Date Created: September 9, 2009