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Forensic DNA Education for Law Enforcement Decisionmakers

Gathering Non-Agency Support

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Gathering Non-Agency Support

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National Institute of Justice (NIJ) (see reuse policy).

Prospective bills should be presented as a product of a consensus between all interested parties. For example, a DNA-related bill presented solely on behalf of law enforcement or a certain member of the legislative body may be considered divisive. However, a bill seeking to collect samples for DNA analysis on all arrestees that also enlists the support of victim networks or other advocates in the state may be viewed in a more favorable light. During the drafting process, policy writers should reach out to and engage victim and advocate groups that can support the bill along with the interested agencies.13

Enlisting the support of all stakeholders, including victim and advocate groups, will avoid alienating most individuals. Soliciting support from groups that rely on DNA analysis results to protect victims of wrongful accusation or imprisonment is very important. The resulting bill can be presented to the legislature with solid support from stakeholders and a diverse group of interested parties, thus improving its chances of being passed.

13 In 2011, at least nine states and the federal government are considering new arrestee laws or expansions of their current arrestee laws. As part of this process Katie Sepich's family has gone on a tour to talk to legislatures about their perspective on arrestee legislation, including New Mexico, Nevada and Washington.

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