Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $1,118,594)
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts State Police Crime Laboratory (MSPCL) Forensic Biology Section is requesting funds from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Justice Programs (OJP), and Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) through the FY2021 DNA Capacity Enhancement for Backlog Reduction Program to operate the project from October 1, 2021 to September 1, 2023. The MSPCL would like to utilize funds from this program to allow more analysts the opportunity to attend national and regional conferences outside the Commonwealth and fulfill the mandated 8 hours of training required by the FBI Quality Assurance Guidelines. Funds for two on-site trainings are also being requested to ensure continuing education opportunities are available for all analysts and allow the lab to tailor the topics to current and/or forthcoming methods and technologies. In addition, the MSPCL is requesting funds for the purchase of necessary equipment and supplies. The MSPCL aims to improve capacity, reduce casework backlog, and enter DNA profiles into CODIS. The federal funding would allow the Forensic Biology Section to purchase new equipment, reagents and supplies necessary to improve and support the Section’s current methods, ensure continued compliance with national standards and increase overall casework capacity. Finally, the MSPCL is requesting funds to support outsourcing cases to external vendor laboratories for screening and DNA analysis. Outsourcing testing allows for backlog casework to be completed while maintaining the MSPCL’s current workload, thereby increasing the volume of DNA profiles entered into the CODIS system. In summary, funds provided through this program will help support the MSPCL’s continued goals to increase the capacity of the forensic biology section, reduce the casework backlog, and improve the turnaround time of forensic biology cases while maintaining compliance with national standards.