Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2014, $391,345)
The funding sought by this project will: 1) expand the Working Group to include representatives of the Massachusetts State Police and Boston Police Department Crime Laboratories, the Suffolk Superior Court clerk's office, and a coalition of local police departments in Middlesex and Suffolk Counties; 2) fund an "Overtime Funding System" to defray overtime costs for evidence officers and crime lab personnel to inventory evidence in police department storage sites, document evidence management practices, and generate a list of all evidence currently in each department's possession; 3) purchase computer equipment, scanners and tracking software necessary to enable effective, interoperable and sustainable inventorying and tracking of evidence; 4) implement a pilot program to examine the feasibility of a centralized statewide evidence tracking system; 5) conduct an inventory of all evidence storage locations throughout the two participating counties; 6) label and repackage evidence with DNA testing potential that is currently stored in adverse conditions; 7) facilitate collaboration of stakeholders and Working Group members to efficiently locate materials in cases currently under review; and 8) enable the MSP lab to inventory and review its pre-2000 files to identify those in which a hair microscopy or serology/blood typing association was made, so that these cases can be targeted for potential further DNA case review.
This project will significantly expand upon the current capacities of the Working Group, augmenting the Group's efforts to assess and improve evidence storage and tracking practices and to advance the goal of effective DNA case review.
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