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South Dakota FY2015 DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Reduction Program

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $150,719)

The South Dakota Forensic Laboratory (SDFL) is the only accredited laboratory in South Dakota capable of doing Forensic DNA analysis on criminal cases. As such, evidence from criminal cases throughout the entire state of South Dakota is submitted to the SDFL for Forensic Analysis. The SDFL has enjoyed a 45-60 day turnaround time for the past several months now due, in large part, to funding from NIJ. Renewed funding will allow us to continue purchasing supplies for working cases and maintain a consistent turnaround time.
In addition to allowing us funds to conduct Forensic Analysis of evidence from criminal cases in-house, funding from NIJ has also allowed us to outsource our DNA database samples to a vendor laboratory. South Dakota is an all-arrestee state. Anyone arrested on a felony charge must submit a DNA sample for entry into the state’s DNA database. This equates to approximately 4,500 samples per year. Although it is the intention of the SDFL to eventually begin to process these samples in-house, the current practice of out-sourcing them to a vendor laboratory and uploading the data to CODIS after review is the most effective method.
It is our intention to use NIJ funding to accomplish 3 goals. The first goal is to provide 5 DNA examiners the opportunity to receive required annual training at a variety of specialty workshops including: Midwestern Association of Forensic Scientists annual conference, Bode Conference, American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors annual meeting, and the American Association of Forensic Science annual conference. The second goal is continue the good work of conducting forensic testing on evidence from criminal cases throughout South Dakota and uploading applicable DNA profiles into CODIS. Going along with that, is the out-source of DNA offender samples to a vendor laboratory and the in-house review of data and upload into CODIS. Funding from NIJ allows us the opportunity to continue the work of our laboratory and allows us to function uninterrupted. The third and final goal is to purchase 2 PCR hoods to replace smaller hoods that two of our current DNA examiners use. We feel this equipment will allow these two examiners to work more efficiently with higher job satisfaction.
We have been very fortunate in the past years to have a good relationship with NIJ and certainly appreciate the resources they have provided us with. It is always our intention to use these resources to the best possible way and maximize our efficiency in the process. NIJ has allowed us the opportunity to continue our work in South Dakota and we hope to continue the positive relationship we have with them.


Date Created: September 20, 2015