Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $857,649)
The Mississippi Forensics Laboratory System, an ISO 17025:2018 ANSI National Accreditation Board (ANAB) accredited system, consists of a central full-service laboratory in Pearl and three regional labs located in Batesville, Meridian, and the Gulf Coast. The mission of the laboratory is to provide a full range of forensic services to law enforcement agencies in the State of Mississippi by performing testing activities that meet the stringent requirements of the International Standard ISO/IEC 17025:2018 and satisfy the needs of the customer.
The Mississippi Forensics Laboratory (MSFL) faces the challenge of providing essential forensic services to the criminal justice system of Mississippi in a time of stagnant budgets and increasing crime. Approximately 500 convicted offender and arrestee samples are received per month to process, review, and enter into CODIS. This volume of work requires all the resources available to the CODIS unit and outsourcing remains the most efficient mechanism to provide timely database analysis. There are currently three (3) grant funded technical staff making a positive contribution in the analysis of sexual assault kits and database processing of which two (2) of these staff are also performing DNA casework analysis. The primary objective is to increase efficiency of sexual assault kit processing and improve capacity thereby reducing the turnaround time and backlog of unworked cases.
In order to meet the goal of the 2022 DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Reduction Program, the Mississippi Forensics Laboratory System requires funds to continue to employ three (3) Forensic Scientist positions, an Information Technology position (Client Support Tech Team Lead) and two (2) new Forensic Scientist positions. The DNA CEBR Program provides funds for short-term direct case activities by employment of personnel to analyze forensic cases and process database samples, outsource DNA convicted offender/arrestee database samples for CODIS entry and purchase equipment for long-term capacity enhancement.