Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $313,839)
The five primary goals for the 2015 Backlog Reduction Grant include the continuation of the CODIS technician grant position, training for mixture deconvolution software, getting a Life Technologies 3500 genetic analyzer, continuing education for analysts, continued calibration of pipettes and thermocyclers and an external audit in 2016.
The CODIS technician will continue to process offender samples to eliminate the backlog of unprocessed cases decrease the downtime for shipment of samples to the testing facility. Additional responsibilities will include shipment of kits to collecting agencies, updating criminal histories with database sample status and assist in the analysis of QC samples and confirmation samples. These tasks are currently performed by casework analysts and technicians so this position allows a significant amount of additional analyst time to be spent on casework.
Since all laboratories are required to switch to a new kit containing the expanded CODIS core loci by January 1, 2017 and maintenance support for the 3130 is ending in the near future an additional 3500 is necessary to maintain throughput and to ensure continued operations even if one machine is inoperable.
Because of all the changes that are occurring with new kits, instruments and processes it is necessary that all analysts have the opportunity to attend workshops, meetings or conferences to make sure that the laboratory as well as each analyst has access to as much information as possible to help handle unforeseen issues and possibly avoid others.
An external audit and calibration of pipettes and thermocyclers ensures that the laboratory functions properly.
Training for new mixture deconvolution software, ArmedExpert and STRMix, will allow the laboratory to properly prepare the validation and implementation of these two pieces of software. Both of these programs will assist the analyst in evaluating and interpreting the data that is identified in casework in a more efficient manner.