Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2017, $227,037)
The Pinellas County Forensic Laboratory seeks funding from the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) FY2017 Forensic DNA Backlog Reduction Program for casework capacity enhancement and backlog reduction of $230,929. This funding will be used to increase laboratory capacity by funding 1.5 FTE DNA analytical positions, casework supplies and mixture interpretation software and support.
The laboratory will use the funds to allow for an analytical capacity to a level that cannot be achieved with the current state of local funding. Continual increases in property crime submissions and legislative changes to sexual assault kit analysis submissions have had a negative impact on the laboratory turnaround time and capacity.
Mixture interpretation software will be used to ensure consistency among peers in the interpretation of DNA mixture obtained in casework and will partially automate the now time consuming process of mixture interpretation.
All work is to be accomplished in the twenty-four month period designated by the award solicitation. With these funds we will reduce the overall turnaround time for handling, screening, analyzing and reviewing forensic DNA samples, increase the number of DNA cases analyzed, upgrade and expand interpretation capacities.
PCFL expects to complete 250 additional DNA cases, conduct 150 additional technical reviews, within this project.