Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $2,250,404)
The Illinois State Police (ISP) provides forensic science services to approximately 1,200 criminal justice agencies located throughout the State of Illinois. The ISP forensic science laboratory system is comprised of six operational laboratories and a Research and Development Laboratory. The ISP forensic science laboratory system is responsible for providing forensic analysis of evidence collected from crimes, throughout the State of Illinois.
ISP maintains International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 17025 accreditation through the ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board (ANAB). Additionally, ISP DNA laboratories undergo external audits once every 2 years in accordance with the DNA Quality Assurance Standards (QAS) for Forensic DNA Testing Laboratories.
ISP has used various strategies to address the forensic biology and DNA backlogs. Federal funds have been used to outsource forensic biology and DNA casework to an accredited contract laboratory, to hire contractual evidence technicians/administrative support staff and to provide overtime compensation to ISP staff directly engaged in the handling, screening and analysis of forensic DNA evidence. Federal funding has also enabled the ISP to improve the infrastructure and analytical capacity of the DNA laboratories. Federal monies have been used to procure DNA analytical equipment, to renovate existing laboratory space in an effort to improve casework flow and efficiency, and to assist the ISP in implementing automation tools and techniques in DNA casework.
ISP is proposing to use funds from this program to provide overtime compensation, in accordance with the applicable provisions of the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) Financial Guide, to laboratory employees directly engaged in handling, screening, analyzing and reviewing forensic evidence that may contain DNA, and to purchase supplies for in-house forensic DNA casework analyses, including biology supplies needed to prepare samples for DNA analysis, and to pay for the outsourcing of biology/DNA casework.
The use of these federal funds will serve to improve and enhance the analytical processing capacity and DNA throughput of the ISP forensic science laboratory system. The implementation of the proposed plan will accomplish the following:
Improve DNA analysis capacity of the ISP forensic DNA laboratories.
Reduce the ISP forensic DNA case backlog, and/or the turnaround time.