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DNA Evidence and Property Crimes - Expert Chat Webinar, NIJ and Harvard's Government Innovators Network

NCJ Number
Date Published
February 2009
4 pages
This is the video and transcript of a public webinar (February 27, 2009) sponsored by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) that consisted of presentations on "DNA Evidence and Property Crime."
The webinar presentations pertain to the DNA Field Experiment, a collaboration between the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) and law enforcement agencies - police, crime labs, and prosecutors - in Los Angeles, CA; Topeka, KS; Denver CO; Phoenix, AZ;, and Orange County, CA. This project examined the experiences of these cities in collecting DNA evidence at property crime scenes, as well as how other cities can determine whether such procedures are right for them. The panel shared strategies for building partnerships among police, crime labs, and prosecutors, and identified other challenges a city may face in addressing this issue. Overall, the project determined that collecting DNA in certain property crimes, such a burglaries, is cost-effective and significantly increases the number of suspects identified. The cost of performing DNA analysis is decreasing, and the amount of data in State and national DNA databases is increasing. Many DNA databases are now including the DNA profiles of all convicted felons (both violent and nonviolent). Researchers have found that many property offenders do not limit their criminal activities to property crimes, so collecting DNA in property crimes may yield matches for more serious crimes.

Date Published: February 1, 2009