Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $269,576)
The Crime Laboratory, under the Office of the Santa Clara County District Attorney, is the local government laboratory responsible for the analysis of physical evidence collected within Santa Clara County and serves over 30 criminal justice agencies, including the sheriff, medical examiner, and all municipalities within the County. Crimes reported for Santa Clara County in calendar year 2009 included 5,013 violent crimes, 23,790 property crimes, 28,303 instances of larceny-theft, and 403 cases of arson. This information was obtained from the Office of the Attorney General for the State of California Department of Justice's website, and has been provided as an attachment. We are a full-service DNA laboratory providing biological screening of evidence, autosomal STR analysis, and YSTR analysis.
The SCCCL is currently facing budgetary constraints in California, which makes assistance through Federal funding essential to decrease the laboratory's backlog. We are hoping to use the Federal award to achieve the following goals:
1. Reduce the backlog of forensic biology/DNA cases.
2. Increase the capacity of the DNA casework laboratory.
3. Send analysts to DNA-related conferences to obtain DNA-related continued education to comply with the FBIs Quality Assurance Standards.
The DNA casework laboratory expects to analyze at least 45 forensic biology and DNA cases through one grant-funded casework analyst. Additionally, we hope to improve turn-around times by streamlining the DNA analysis process with the implementation of a new DNA-specific Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS).