Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $759,676)
This proposal is submitted on behalf of the State of Illinois. The Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, the designated State Administering Agency (SAA), is seeking formula-based funding through the 2021 Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement grant. The consolidated state plan for the forensic science laboratories in Illinois has focused on improving the quality, accuracy, and timeliness of forensic science services, the criminal justice system, and citizens of the State of Illinois. The consolidated plan has been in effect since 2002 and the continued demand for forensic science services dictates the need for the forensic science laboratories in Illinois to continue focusing their efforts and resources on improving the quality of forensic science services. Funding from previous years' National Forensic Sciences Improvement Act programs have been used to purchase new analytical equipment and/or upgrades for existing analytical equipment; to maintain laboratory accreditation standards by purchasing required external proficiency tests; and to provide appropriate internal and external training opportunities to staff that assists with the end goal of improving the timeliness and quality of forensic services offered by the forensic science laboratories in Illinois. The aforementioned actions have had a positive impact on the labs' abilities to address case backlogs, maintain required accreditation standards, and improve forensic services.