Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $2,146,135)
CA DOJ Bureau of Forensic Services (BFS) seeks funding of $2,146,135 for casework backlog reduction and capacity enhancement. All work is to be accomplished in the two-year period of the award sought.
Our goals for this grant are to reduce our backlog and reduce the overall turnaround time for handling, screening, analyzing and reviewing forensic biology/DNA samples. Increasing the capacity, efficiency, and quality of our DNA programs will be the key elements to achieving these goals.
The CA DOJ BFS proposes to achieve these goals by:
Funding overtime for casework analysis
Providing training for casework and Data Bank analysts
Purchasing equipment for casework and Data Bank analysis Bottlenecks:
The Bureau identifies and addresses bottlenecks in several ways. One way is that we regularly review metrics. This allows us to see how our process is doing with respect to our case backlog. We have group discussions reviewing our processes, both with analysts (in-house meetings) and across the Bureau as Technical Advisory Groups. The analysts readily see what takes the longest, and usually have good ideas on how to streamline.
Frequently, addressing bottlenecks involves the assistance of Method Development to research an issue and perform an evaluation and/or validation.
Another way of reducing bottlenecks is to have people cross-trained (several people trained on each methodology), and therefore enough equipment & reviewers to go around.
Robotics assist in minimizing bottlenecks by processing greater numbers of samples than can be handled manually and freeing the analyst to attend to other tasks while the robot is performing its functions. They also minimize issues related to hand and wrist repetitive use injuries.