U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Improve Forensic Science Services and Timeliness of Results

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Awardee County
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $240,448)

Problem Statements/Purpose: The opioid epidemic and violent crime continues to burden forensic laboratories with increased case submissions in all disciplines. As staffing increases to meet this demand, equipment purchases to meet the needs of the additional staff and/or replacement of outdated equipment is not possible with current budgets.

Professional development for employees is essential in Forensic Science. Technologies, methods, standards and guidelines are constantly changing in the forensic community. These changes often times are directly correlated to improved quality and efficiencies. Most forensic laboratories do not have funding to provide professional development for all employees. 

Counties lack secure body storage refrigeration for decedents that will be submitted to the laboratory for a forensic examination. Evidence that is vital to the case can be compromised and/or lost because of decomposition of the deceased individual. 

Project Strategy/Primary Activities: There are four primary activities to tackle the problems stated above. Upgrade current Firearms Comparison Microscopes, provide professional development opportunities to Forensic Scientists and Medical Examiners, provide adequate refrigeration for counties with no access to refrigeration; and provide equipment in the Forensic Chemistry section to meet the needs of the increased staff.

Anticipated Outcomes: There will be improved efficiencies in the processing of firearms analysis cases in the Firearms section, attendees at National/Regional meetings and training seminars will enhance quality and/or timeliness improvements that can be implemented at the ASCL which will decrease turnaround times and the backlog, evidence will be preserved as well as the integrity of the decedent; and reduce the bottleneck of case processing in the Forensic Chemistry section.

Date Created: September 25, 2023