Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $296,966)
The Department of the Attorney General is the State Administering Agency (SAA) for the FY 2021 Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grants Program (Coverdell) – Formula grant. The program provides funding to improve and enhance the quality and timeliness of forensic science services in Hawaii. The Department of the Attorney General, Crime Prevention and Justice Assistance Division, plans to subcontract the Coverdell funds to eligible state and county forensic laboratories and medical examiner’s office to address one or more of following areas: (1) Improve Quality and Timeliness, (2) Eliminate Backlog, (3) Train, Employ and Assist Forensic Laboratory Personnel, (4) Address Emerging Forensic Issues and Technology, (5) Educate and Train Pathologist, and (6) Support Medical examiner and coroner accreditation/certification. A competitive process will be used to select and award subrecipients in the Fall of 2021. Of the available $106,638 in Coverdell funding, a sum of $60,783 may be used to subcontract with state and county forensic science laboratories or medical examiner’s office to specifically target the challenges that opioid and synthetic drugs have brought to the forensic science community. The sum of $42,552 may be used for projects that do not address the issues that opioid and synthetic drugs have brought to the forensic science community. The remaining $3,303 will be used for administrative costs. The result of the Coverdell funding will be a demonstrated improvement over current operations in the quality, safety, and/or timeliness of forensic science or medical examiner services provided in the State. Improvements to forensic capabilities include obtaining accreditation, expanding crime laboratories, hiring staff, appropriately certifying staff, seeking continuing education/training, upgrading equipment, and reducing forensic analysis backlogs.