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Collecting DNA Evidence at Property Crime Scenes

What is CODIS?

What is CODIS?

The term CODIS stands for Combined DNA Index System, which is a computer software program that operates local, state and national DNA databases. The software was established and funded by the FBI. It was developed to enable public forensic laboratories to create searchable databases of authorized DNA profiles.

Laboratories throughout the country share and compare DNA profiles through the national database known as the National DNA Index System, which is managed by the FBI. The CODIS software enables state, local and national law enforcement crime laboratories to compare DNA profiles electronically.

The goals are to link crimes to each other and identify potential suspects by matching DNA profiles from crime scenes with profiles from convicted individuals and arrestees. Note that individual states legislate the authority to collect DNA samples from arrestees and therefore not all states participate in the CODIS Arrestee index. Thousands of CODIS matches have linked cases and many cases have been solved by matching crime scene evidence to convicted offender or arrestee profiles. Searches are conducted and matches are returned to the submitting laboratory.

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