Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $293,954)
The Department of the Attorney General for the State of Hawaii (Department) is the designated State Administering Agency for the FY 2022 Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grants Program – Formula (Coverdell) grant.
This proposal seeks $107,349 in Coverdell funding to improve the quality and timeliness of forensic science services in Hawaii. Of the requested amount, $62,262 (or 58% of the requested funding) may be used to target the challenges that opioid and synthetic drugs have brought to the forensic science community; $34,353 may be used to address challenges unrelated to opioid and synthetic drugs; and $10,734 is for administrative costs. Administrative costs do not exceed 10% of the requested funding.
The Department plans to subcontract the Coverdell funds to eligible forensic laboratories and medical examiner’s offices. Subcontract recipients will be selected through a competitive process in Fall 2022. Subcontract applications will be required to address one or more of the Coverdell program areas: (1) to improve the quality and timeliness of forensic science or medical examiner/coroner services in Hawaii; (2) to eliminate a backlog in the analysis of forensic science evidence; (3) to train, assist, and employ forensic laboratory personnel and medicolegal death investigators, as needed, to eliminate such a backlog; (4) address emerging forensic science issues; (5) to educate and train forensic pathologists; and/or (6) to fund medicolegal death investigation systems to facilitate accreditation of medical examiner and coroner offices and certification of medicolegal death investigators.
Subcontract applications should align with Hawaii’s Statewide Forensic Science Strategic Plan for calendar years 2020-2024, which was developed by the Department in consultation with the state and county forensic science agencies and medical examiner/coroner services. The Strategic Plan describes the functions of the forensic science organizations and outlines a four-year plan for each laboratory to upgrade their respective forensic capabilities.
The Department anticipates that Coverdell funding will improve the quality, safety, and/or timeliness of forensic science or medical examiner services in the State. Improvements may include obtaining accreditation; expanding laboratories; hiring, training, and/or certifying staff; upgrading equipment; and reducing forensic analysis backlogs.