Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $462,979)
The Mississippi Crime Laboratory System, an ASCLD/LAB, ISO 17025 accredited system, consists of a central full-service laboratory in Jackson and three regional labs located in Batesville, Meridian, and the Gulf Coast. The mission of the laboratory is to provide a full range of forensic services to law enforcement agencies in the state by performing testing activities that meet the stringent requirements of the International Standard ISO 17025 and satisfy the needs of the customer.
The Mississippi Crime Laboratory (MCL) faces the challenge of providing essential forensic services to the criminal justice system of the state in a time of reduced budgets and increasing crime. At the present time, all DNA analyses are performed in the Jackson Laboratory. The regional laboratories receive evidence from agencies in their region and provide weekly courier service to the main lab for evidence requiring examinations not available at the branch lab. Conventional Serological Examinations have been added to the services provided by the three regional laboratories, the Meridian, Batesville and Gulf Coast laboratories. Currently all DNA database samples are being outsourced using Federal funding for DNA convicted offender database sample testing assistance.
Because of space limitations and lack of equipment, in-house DNA database sample testing has not been possible in the MCL system. However, construction of a new laboratory with adequate space for DNA database sample testing has been completed. The move to the new location has begun. The analytical instruments have yet to be moved. Life Technologies has been contracted to move all DNA instruments to the new building and the process to purchase additional instrumentation has begun. As validation of all analytical instruments is required before the instrument can be used in forensic analyses, MCL can realistically expect to begin to process database samples in-house in September of 2015. Currently, MCL receives approximately 600 convicted offender samples per month to process, review, and enter into CODIS. It is anticipated that the addition of arrestee samples will double that number.
In order to meet the goals of the 2015 DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Reduction Program, the Mississippi Crime Laboratory System must increase the number of personnel in the Database Unit which is woefully understaffed at this time. We are requesting funds to fill one Senior Support Tech position, two DPS Forensic Biologist I positions, and one Information Technology position
- Mitogenome Sequencing of 10,000 Population Samples Using a Highly Accurate, Single-Molecule Approach
- Assessing the reliability of modern µXRF technology for expanded impact on the forensic examination and interpretation of trace evidence
- Examining Models of Law Enforcement Crime Information Centers for Sustained Organizational Change