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BJA FY 2023 MS DNA Capacity Enhancement for Backlog Reduction (CEBR) Program

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $948,728)

The Mississippi Forensics Laboratory System, an ISO 17025:2017 ANSI National Accreditation Board (ANAB) accredited system, consists of a central full-service laboratory in Pearl and three regional labs located in Batesville, Meridian, and the Gulf Coast. The mission of the laboratory is to provide a full range of forensic services to law enforcement agencies in the State of Mississippi by performing testing activities that meet the stringent requirements of the International Standard ISO/IEC 17025:2017 and satisfy the needs of the customer.

      The Mississippi Forensics Laboratory (MSFL) faces the challenge of providing essential forensic services to the criminal justice system of Mississippi in a time of stagnant state budgets, staff retention and qualified applicants for open positions.  Also, new state legislation effective this year requires the MSFL to complete forensic analysis within 60 days of receipt of sexual assault evidence.  

      Approximately 500 convicted offender and arrestee samples are received per month to process, review, and enter into CODIS.  This volume of work requires all the resources available to the CODIS unit and outsourcing remains the most efficient mechanism to provide timely database analysis. There are currently three (3) grant funded technical staff making a positive contribution in the analysis of sexual assault kits and database processing of which two (2) of these staff are also  performing DNA casework analysis. One (1) newly hired analyst is in a DNA analysis training program.   The primary objective is to increase efficiency of sexual assault kit processing and improve capacity thereby reducing the turnaround time and backlog of unworked cases.

      In order to meet the goal of the 2023 DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Reduction Program, the Mississippi Forensics Laboratory System requires funds to continue to employ four (4) Forensic Scientist positions, one (1) Information Technology position and one (1) new Forensic Scientist position.   The DNA CEBR Program provides funds to employ personnel to analyze forensic cases and process database samples, outsource DNA convicted offender/arrestee database samples for CODIS entry and purchase equipment for capacity enhancement.

Date Created: September 8, 2023