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Backlogs and Their Impact on the Criminal Justice System

Speakers
Gerry LaPorte, Forensic Policy Program Manager, Office of Investigative and Forensic Sciences, National Institute of Justice, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, D.C.; Joseph L. Peterson, Professor and Director, School of Criminal Justice and Criminalistics, California State University, Los Angeles ; Kevin J. Strom, Senior Research Scientist, RTI International, Research Triangle Park, N.C.; Dean M. Gialamas, Director, Scientific Services Bureau, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department; Jeffrey Nye, DNA Technical Leader, Forensic Science Division, Michigan State Police, East Lansing

Evidence backlogs have been known to be an issue in crime laboratories. A recent study published by NIJ has shown that backlogs of untested evidence are also an issue in law enforcement evidence storage. This panel will discuss the issues and present preliminary findings from a study of the Los Angeles Police Department's and Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's experience with clearing out a large backlog of unanalyzed rape kits. Researchers are following the outcomes of the DNA analyses and examining case characteristics to get a better understanding of why these cases did not go forward in the first place. Panelists will also discuss backlog-reduction programs, legal and policy changes to backlog reductions, and potential future solutions, including capacity building, technology and information systems.

Date Created: August 14, 2019