Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $804,791)
The University of North Texas Center for Human Identification (UNTCHI) is a State of Texas criminal justice agency that provides forensic DNA analysis at no cost to law enforcement agencies primarily in Tarrant and the surrounding counties of north central Texas to assist in decreasing the number of backlog forensic DNA cases. The DNA analysis is primarily for UCR, Part 1, Crime Cases, i.e., aggravated assaults, forcible rape, murder, robbery and property crimes.
UNTCHI serves as an adjunct laboratory to the Texas Department of Public Safety (TXDPS) State Crime Laboratory. TXDPS and other agencies within the state regularly refer forensic cases to UNTCHI which require routine DNA testing and analysis of cases that need familial and/or kinship relatedness statistical analysis.
Services include conducting serological screening of evidentiary samples to identify biological material for subsequent DNA testing, and utilizing DNA technologies such as autosomal short tandem repeats (STRs) and Y chromosome STRs analyses. UNTCHI continues to work closely with both law enforcement and prosecuting agencies to select only the most probative samples for DNA testing. This collaborative effort provides guidance to the submitting agencies and helps improve laboratory productivity and cost effectiveness.
Funds from this award allow UNTCHI to continue assisting agencies in reducing the number of forensic DNA samples awaiting analysis, maintain or reduce the average turn-around time of 162 days, and complete the DNA analysis on a minimum of 450 new cases (~900 samples).
All eligible forensic DNA profiles will be entered into CODIS and uploaded into NDIS where applicable. UNTCHI is accredited by ANSI National Accreditation Board (ANAB) under the requirements of ISO 17025 and the FBI's Quality Assurance Standards. In addition to the DNA testing services, UNTCHI also provides expert witness testimony.