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Strengthening Forensic Science Services through the DNA Capacity Enhancement & Backlog Reduction Program and Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grants, Final Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
October 2014
29 pages
This report details a September 2014, National Institute of Justice (NIJ) meeting with crime laboratory directors from various regions of the United States to gather information on strengthening the DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Reduction (DNA) and Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grants (Coverdell) programs.
The focus of this meeting was to facilitate discussions related to the DNA and Coverdell programs, which are considered to be two critical sources of funding for laboratory operations. The impetus of the meeting originated from internal NIJ discussions to develop new strategies for strengthening the DNA and Coverdell programs. NIJ, through the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCoE), worked to select a diverse and representative group of laboratory directors. The initial selection criteria was based on identifying laboratories that received both DNA and Coverdell grants. As a result, twenty-five (25) laboratory directors were selected representing thirteen (13) states, three (3) counties, seven (7) cities, one (1) region, and the District of Columbia. The main objective of the meeting was to gather information from grantees that could be used to develop strategies to strengthen the DNA and Coverdell programs, and to promote the effective use and timely expenditures of grant funds. The report provides a summary of generalized comments and opinions from the diversified group of laboratory directors and does not represent the views of all recipients of DNA and Coverdell grants. Based on the discussion at the meeting, it was clear that that the DNA and Coverdell programs are critical resources that have helped strengthen the quality of forensic science in the United States. Without these programs, laboratories would not be able to increase their capacity, and would thereby reduce the number of samples awaiting forensic analysis.

Date Published: October 1, 2014