Findings are summarized from an NIJ-sponsored five-city field study of the effectiveness of performing DNA analysis on biological evidence collected from property-crime scenes.
The research shows that collecting DNA evidence at property-crime scenes, such as burglaries, is cost-effective and dramatically increases the number of suspects identified. The averaging of outcomes from the five sites found that suspect identifications and arrests doubled; cases accepted for prosecutions doubled; the suspects arrested through DNA identifications were more dangerous than offenders arrested through traditional investigations; and DNA was twice as effective in identifying suspects compared to fingerprints. Trends that favor the use of DNA collection and analysis at property-crime scenes are the declining costs of performing DNA analysis of biological evidence collected from crime scenes. Also, new technologies are more widely distributed, and the criminal justice system is learning to use DNA evidence more effectively. The five jurisdictions participating in the study were Los Angeles, CA; Topeka, KS; Denver, CO; Phoenix, AZ; and Orange County, CA.