This final report to the National Institute of Justice presents data on the work accomplished by the New York State Police Forensic Investigation Center with the Crime Laboratory Improvement Grant.
Prior to receiving the grant, the Biological Science Section of the New York State Police Forensic Investigation Center was working toward two main goals: (1) eliminate the backlog of cases awaiting forensic DNA analysis, and (2) decrease the average casework turn-around time from approximately 3 months to 30 days. Data are offered on the progress toward these goals, which includes a reduction in the average turn-around time from 82 days to an average of 37 days in the previous quarter. The report points out that the two objectives have not yet been fully achieved due to the fact that all aspects of the program have not yet been implemented. Work toward the accomplishments of these two objectives is described and includes the hiring of a large number of new staff and the adoption of an accelerated staff training model. Equipment upgrades funded by the grant are described and the improvements are linked to the reduction in the duration of training and the elimination of production bottlenecks that had been slowing down casework analysis. Steady progress is recounted in the implementation of high throughput, automated forensic genotyping, which is expected to decrease case processing time and enhance process quality and data traceability. Future plans for improving productivity are discussed and include the increased use of software solutions that can be integrated into an automated approach. Tables
Date Published: January 1, 2005