Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $2,687,310)
The North Carolina State Crime Laboratory (SCL) has face issues with an increasing turnaround time for the entry into CODIS of forensic cases. The driving forces behind this are (1) increased submissions of sexual assault kits from Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs), (2) changes to legislation related to sexual assault kit testing, and (3) advances in DNA instrumentation that are financially out of reach of the SCL. Submission rates for casework continue to increase, and is directly related to a 200% increase in sexual assault kit submissions following the enactment of sexual assault kit testing legislation. Additionally, newer DNA instrumentation is available that will allow the SCL to process forensic cases more efficiently. The costs associated with the implementation of this instrumentation and supplies necessary for the processing forensic casework and database samples is our of reach for state without the support of federal funding.