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What Every Law Enforcement Officer Should Know About DNA Evidence

Investigators and Evidence Technicians

Limitations of the CODIS

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

There are some limitations of the CODIS. For example:

  • Not all convicted offenders go through the corrections facilities where most DNA samples are collected. Some are released on "time served" or parole straight from the courtroom (thereby delaying the entry of their profile into the CODIS).
  • Sometimes convicted offenders, whose DNA should be collected, analyzed and entered into the CODIS, are missed.
  • Laboratories have casework and offender backlogs, which delay entry of samples into the CODIS. This may affect the timeliness in which results are available.
  • Some offender samples and casework backlogs restrict the use of the CODIS to solve non-suspect cases. Many laboratories and police agencies have regulations for submission of evidence for DNA analysis. If agencies cannot submit non-suspect DNA evidence, they will not be able to maximize the value of the CODIS.

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