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Forensic DNA Education for Law Enforcement Decisionmakers

CODIS Hierarchy

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CODIS Hierarchy

It is important to understand the CODIS hierarchy to fully comprehend the search processes and rules governing them.

CODIS is the core of the national DNA database; it was established and funded by the FBI and developed specifically to enable public forensic DNA laboratories to create searchable DNA databases of authorized DNA profiles. The CODIS software permits laboratories throughout the country to share and compare DNA data. In addition, it provides a central database of the DNA profiles from all user laboratories.

A weekly search is conducted of the DNA profiles in the national database, known as the National DNA Index System (NDIS), and resulting matches are automatically returned by the software to the laboratory that originally submitted the DNA profile. CODIS has three levels of operation:

  • Local DNA Index System (LDIS)
  • State DNA Index System (SDIS)
  • National DNA Index System (NDIS)

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