Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2016, $683,257)
Problem to be addressed and target area and population - Connecticut has faced budgetary challenges over the last several years that resulted in restrictions placed on the submission of property crime cases to the FB/DNA section. These restrictions were lifted in February 2015. We expected the number of cases with FB/DNA requests will double in the next years. Coupled with the lifting of the restrictions are continued budgetary limitations. Faced with these challenges, DESPP requests Federal grant funds to support DSS.
Project goals and objectives and expected outcomes and major deliverables:
To reduce the backlog of forensic DNA cases by about 400 and, as appropriate, enter profiles into state and national DNA databases
To increase the testing capacity of the FB/DNA Section
To reduce the backlog of database samples by 2,700 and enter database profiles into state and national DNA databases
To increase the professional development of staff
To contract with Advanced Genetics to aid the laboratory with the validation and implementation of advanced DNA analysis methodologies
Project strategy or overall program - Grant funds will support overtime, fringe benefits, travel, equipment, supplies, contractual services, and other costs.
Supplies and overtime will reduce the casework backlog by 400 cases. Supplies will reduce the DNA database sample backlog by 2,700 samples. All eligible casework DNA profiles and all DNA database sample profiles will be entered into CODIS.
We will complete about 10% more forensic cases with grant-funded overtime, other costs, supplies, and equipment than would be possible without Federal support. The forensic cases processed, recorded, screened, and analyzed under this grant program will decrease the average turnaround time by 5 days. The current turnaround time for database sample processing is 30 days with Federal support. Without this grant support (current solicitation), the database sample turnaround time would be about 60 days with grant-funded supplies.
The contract with Advanced Genetics to supply expert assistance to improve DNA analysis will increase the capacity of the laboratory. The assistance of Advanced Genetics in the implementation of SWGDAMs mixture interpretation guidelines, new and more efficient DNA analysis software (GeneMarker), and novel probabilistic genotyping software (STRmix) will keep the laboratory in compliance with evolving National DNA analysis and interpretation standards.
Grant funds will support travel, and registration, and workshops at national scientific meetings to support staff professional development efforts.
Significant partnerships - There will be no formal partnerships in delivery of services under the project.