Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $71,485)
The Mississippi Crime Laboratory System (MCL), an ASCLD/LAB, ISO 17025 accredited system, consists of a central full-service laboratory in Jackson and three regional labs located in Batesville, Meridian, and the Gulf Coast. The mission of the laboratory is to provide a full range of forensic services to law enforcement agencies in the state. The goal of the FY2015 Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grants Program is to provide laboratories with the tools needed to improve the quality and timeliness of forensic services that they provide. The Mississippi Crime Laboratory (MCL) proposes to accomplish the goal of the Program by meeting three objectives: Objective 1 Continuing education is a necessity in Forensic Science for the dissemination of information, methods, research, and other related educational material. New examination techniques and instrumentation are continually being developed and forensic scientists must be provided with training and informed of the latest developments in their area of expertise. Certification of examiners and laboratory accreditation requires documented continuing education. Training directly related to the duties of the individual examiner will improve the quality and timeliness of the forensic services provided by the MCL. OBJECTIVE 2: Maintaining the Accreditation of the Mississippi Crime Laboratory System by the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board (ASCLD-LAB) for January 1, 2016 through December 31, 2016. OBJECTIVE 3: As a part of the accreditation requirements, ASCLD/LAB requires crime labs to undergo rigorous assessments to show that they are able to perform multiple tests accurately. Once they become accredited; they are periodically re-evaluated to ensure that the lab is still functioning at its best. This periodic re-evaluation involves the use of proficiency samples purchased from certified vendors such as Collaborative Testing Services, The College of American Pathologists, and Forensic Science Consultants/Forensic Testing Services.