U.S. flag

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

BJA FY23 DNA Capacity Enhancement for Backlog Reduction (CEBR) Program - Arizona Department of Public Safety

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $700,166)

The Arizona Department of Public Safety’s Scientific Analysis Bureau (SAB) proposes to continue with its efforts to eliminate the backlog of cases pending a DNA analysis and increase testing capacity by implementing more efficient processing; replacing failing instrumentation and updating antiquated methods; maximizing laboratory work and storage space; and enhancing DNA testing technology. For the last several years, the DPS SAB’s backlog of DNA cases has been consistently trending in a positive direction and the number of cases older than 60 days is expected to be at zero before the end of 2023. While DNA staff at the SAB have worked hard to improve workflows, modernize technology, update submission policies, and build relationship with state law enforcement representatives through ongoing training, the role BJA funding has played in the success of the DPS SAB DNA program has been significant. Through BJA awards, the laboratory has been able to update and replace critical equipment, hire DNA Casework and Database support staff, avoid interruptions in services during budget shortages, provide comprehensive training for DNA analysts, and maintain and update operational software.
The expected outcomes of continued funding through this award include: achieving and maintaining a backlog of zero DNA cases older than 60 days while continuing to identify and pursue opportunities to reduce the turnaround time to 45 days; maintain a zero backlog of convicted offender and arrestee samples pending analysis; continue with the SAB’s plan to update the 25-year-old DNA laboratory space to accommodate additional staff, instrumentation, equipment, samples, supplies, and current workflows; continue exposing DNA analysts to new trends in the field of Forensic DNA testing through professional meetings and conferences; and replace outdated equipment and update procedures and software. Additionally, the SAB is actively working to enhance capacity and expand testing capabilities to include Unidentified Human Remains/Missing Persons. Expanding the DNA program will only be possible if the SAB is able to rely on funding from BJA awards to support additional DNA staff, update equipment and purchase supplies directly related to testing samples for the ultimate purpose of developing CODIS-eligible profiles.

Date Created: September 8, 2023