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Forensic DNA Education for Law Enforcement Decisionmakers

Evidence Prioritization and Submission to the Laboratory

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Evidence Prioritization and Submission to the Laboratory

Clipboard with Officer Report written on it
National Institute of Justice (NIJ) (see reuse policy).

To better leverage strained resources, agencies and laboratories establish prioritization processes. It is not feasible to expect a SWAT team to respond to burglaries or prosecutors to take every case to full trial. Similarly, it is not feasible to expect every piece of evidence in every case to receive full forensic analysis.

A proper evidence label includes a notation of the item's priority or importance. This will aid investigators in determining which exhibits to send to the laboratory first.

When submitting evidence to the laboratory, it is beneficial to include a narrative or a copy of the police report. Including a police report with submitted evidence helps laboratory staff to understand the crime and the scene, and properly prioritize the submitted items.

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