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Forensic DNA Education for Law Enforcement Decisionmakers

Evidence Storage Conditions

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Evidence Storage Conditions

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

Storing biological evidence under proper conditions is an important aspect that must be addressed in evidence retention policies. Evidence can be stored in a number of different locations, including a courthouse, at the investigative agency, at the forensic laboratory facility, or in other off-site locations. Establishing evidence storage procedures helps maintain integrity and facilitates the retrieval of evidence for investigative and judicial proceedings.

It is crucial that dried biological evidence be stored in a humidity-controlled storage area. Thoroughly dried biological evidence can be stored at room temperature or frozen, depending on the agency's storage facilities. Failure to establish appropriate evidence storage policies can render biological samples useless for DNA analysis and may result in the inability to locate critical evidence.12

12 Optimal storage conditions for highly dilute DNA samples: A role for Trehalose as a preserving agent S. Smith, P.A. Morin, Journal of Forensic Sciences, Volume 50, Issue 5, September 2005, pp 1–8 PDF download: 172kB

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