Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $293,954)
The proposed 2022 Paul Coverdell Forensic Sciences Improvement Grant Program award will be used by Louisiana to continue the work and success of previous years’ efforts and funding. Efforts will be directed toward the goals of improving the quality and timeliness of forensic science and medical examiner services, eliminating or reducing the backlog of analysis of forensic science evidence, and training. LCLE will execute sub-awards with 2022 grant funds to six (6) regional forensic laboratories (Acadiana Criminalistics Laboratory, Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office Crime Lab, New Orleans Police Department Crime Lab, North Louisiana Criminalistics Laboratory Commission, St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office Crime Lab and Southwest Louisiana Criminalistics Laboratory), one (1) Coroner’s Office (St. Tammany Parish Coroner’s Office) and the Louisiana State Police Crime lab. These funds will be used for specific objectives supporting the above stated goals. Funds will be allocated for travel, training and registration expenses, equipment and supply purchases, equipment maintenance agreements and consultants/contracts. All of these funds are used to keep a crime lab accredited, including keeping equipment up-to-date and validated, crime lab employees certified, etc. Evidence of such activity will manifest itself through the use of quarterly fiscal expenditure reports and program progress reports as well as on-site monitoring visits of sub-grantees. This information will be presented in semiannual progress reports to BJA. Performance metrics captured include: the average number of days to process a sample at the beginning and end of the grant period, the average number of backlogged cases at the beginning and end of the grant period, the number of backlogged forensic cases analyzed with Coverdell funds and the number of forensic science and medical examiner personnel training programs. Additional performance metrics captured include: the number of agencies/organizations seeking and obtaining initial accreditation, the number of agencies/organizations using FY2022 funding for fees to maintain accreditation and actual number of agencies/organizations receiving funding. Currently all crime labs in the state of Louisiana receiving Coverdell funding are accredited by ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board in multiple disciplines. Three (3) crime labs will be going through the process to seek re-accreditation this year.