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Forensic DNA Education for Law Enforcement Decisionmakers

Prioritizing Evidence in the Laboratory

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Prioritizing Evidence in the Laboratory

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

The most common approaches employed by laboratories to prioritize cases include working high-profile cases first (homicides, sexual assaults, etc.) and limiting the number of items analyzed for each case.

Laboratories have developed numerous prioritization schemes that are usually implemented with the understanding that well-justified exceptions will be made. It is imperative that submitting agencies, laboratories and prosecutors continually discuss prioritization of cases with the goal of analyzing the most probative samples for a case as quickly as possible. Fast analysis turnaround time aids in investigations and crime prevention. This allows the laboratory to work efficiently, which benefits everyone involved in the criminal justice system.

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