Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $1,351,851)
At this time, Louisiana has six active accredited crime laboratories that are currently performing DNA
analysis: the Acadiana Crime Laboratory (ACL), Jefferson Parish Sheriffs Office Regional DNA Laboratory
(JPSO), Louisiana State Police Crime Laboratory (LSPCL), North Louisiana Criminalistics Laboratory
(NLCL), St. Tammany Parish Coroners Office (STPCO), and Southwest Louisiana Crime Laboratory
(SWCL). All six labs are fully accredited and maintain their individual accreditation. Each lab undergoes a
stringent external audit every two years to maintain their accreditation. All six labs are equipped and currently
perform forensic DNA casework. All DNA analyses performed under this program are maintained in each
respective lab as mandated by the federal privacy regulations. The LSPCL is the only lab that uploads all
eligible DNA profiles into NDIS. All labs participating in this grant solicitation send their eligible profiles to
the LSPCL CODIS Unit for upload into the NDIS system.
In an effort to provide timely and accurate service to those law enforcement agencies submitting DNA
evidence, Louisiana crime laboratories must increase their current level of funding support. The goals of the
projects funded by this grant are:
1. Reduce or maintain forensic and database DNA case/sample turnaround time.
2. Increase the throughput of current public DNA laboratories.
3. Reduce forensic and database DNA backlogged cases.
4. Maintain required laboratory accreditation.
5. Increase knowledge of staff in current and future technologies to enhance the capabilities of the
Laboratories intend to achieve the above listed goals by maintaining current technician staffing levels,
replacing outdated equipment, purchasing new equipment, purchasing supplies, and attending training.
Maintaining current technician staffing levels will allow the less technical duties to be completed by staff who
can be readily trained to screen evidence and complete quality control duties. This frees DNA analysts to
focus on the steps of DNA analysis and interpretation, which requires a more experienced analyst. By
applying the analysts' time to casework, a higher productivity is obtained thus reducing the forensic case turnaround-
time and the backlog. Providing additional equipment, supplies, and replacing aging equipment will
allow these agencies to increase their capacity and decrease the backlog. This allows the laboratories to
become poised to complete the number of requests that are submitted in a timely fashion. The ultimate goal is
for all laboratories within the State of Louisiana to provide real time support to investigating agencies. As a
State we expect there to be a decrease in the laboratory backlogs, a decrease in sample turnaround times, and a
higher laboratory throughput to better service the law enforcement agencies. Finally, continuing education is
critical to maintaining a high level of quality of DNA analysis. It is essential that DNA analysts remain up to
date with current technologies and practices in order to perform at the highest level possible.