Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2016, $961,979)
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts State Police Crime Laboratory (MSPCL) Forensic Biology Section is requesting funds from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Justice Programs (OJP), and National Institute of Justice through the FY 2016 DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Reduction Program to operate the project from January 1, 2017 through December 31, 2018.
The MSPCL would like to utilize funds from this program for the salaries of Forensic Scientists to perform DNA analysis of biological samples. The grant-funded analysts will be participating in a training program that will afford them the opportunity to participate in casework in a technician capacity prior to being signed off to conduct their own casework as fully qualified Forensic Scientists. They will provide assistance to improve the efficiency of current case flow within the Forensic Biology Unit. The overall goal is for improved efficiency of current case flow within the Forensic Biology Unit provided by the assistance of the new analysts.
In addition, the MSPCL is requesting funds to purchasing necessary equipment and supplies, outsourcing casework analysis to external vendor laboratories, hiring temporary support staff and providing continuing education opportunities to analysts, the MSPFSG aims to improve capacity, reduce casework backlog, and enter DNA profiles into CODIS. The federal funding provided in this program would allow the Forensic Biology Section to purchase new equipment, reagents and supplies necessary to improve upon the Section's current methods and increase overall casework capacity. Additionally, funding to support outsourcing cases for screening and DNA analysis allows for additional backlog casework to be completed while maintaining the MSPFSG's current workload and therefore increase the entry of DNA profiles into the CODIS system.
The federal funds provided by this program would afford more analysts educational opportunities and help ensure DNA analysts obtain the continuing education requirements mandated by the FBI Quality Assurance Guidelines. In summary, funds provided through this program will help support the MSPFSG's continued goals to increase the capacity of the forensic biology section, reduce the casework backlog, and improve the turnaround time of forensic biology cases. nca/ncf