U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Study of Familial DNA Searching Policies and Practices: Case Study Brief Series

NCJ Number
251081
Date Published
June 2017
Length
41 pages
Author(s)
Michael B. Field; Saniya Seera; Christina Nguyen; Sara Debus-Sherrill
Agencies
NIJ-Sponsored
Publication Type
Report (Technical Assistance), Report (Study/Research), Report (Grant Sponsored), Legislation/Policy Description
Grant Number(s)
2013-R2-CX-0013
Annotation
As part of a comprehensive study of familial DNA searching (FDS) policies and practices in the United States, this study examined the history, policies, practices, technology, and perceptions of FDS in Colorado, California, Wisconsin, and Maryland.
Abstract
Colorado was the first State to begin using FDS, and is a recognized leader in its promotion and spread across the country. It has developed its own software for conducting FDS, which it shares with multiple States. This software is one of the leading tools for using FDS in the United States. California was also an early adopter of FDS and has successfully solved multiple cases with this tool. California has a statewide policy and also developed its own software for conducting FDS. Unique FDS practices are the institution of an interdisciplinary committee to approve the use of FDS in individual cases and conducting records research prior to release of the profile name to investigators. Wisconsin began conducting FDS in 2014, using the software developed in Denver. Wisconsin has experienced multiple successes in using FDS. Wisconsin's case study provides information on the earlier stages of implementation and how a pilot may be helpful for this process. Maryland is the only State with legislation that explicitly bans the use of FDS. The rationale for this legislation is discussed.
Date Created: September 25, 2017