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Rural Crime Lab 2010 Implementation

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2010, $1,000,000)

The Congressionally Recommended Awards Program, authorized by the Department of Justice Appropriations Act, 2010 (Pub. L. 111-117), helps improve the functioning of the criminal justice system, prevent or combat juvenile delinquency, and/or assist victims of crime (other than compensation). Funds should be used for the projects recommended by Congress, in the amounts specified in the joint explanatory statement incorporated by reference into Pub. L. 111-117, and generally consistent with one or more of the following statutory purposes: improving the functioning of the criminal justice system, preventing or combating juvenile delinquency, or assisting victims of crime (other than compensation). Each of these purposes is framed using language drawn, respectively, from the former Byrne discretionary statute, the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act, the Victims of Crime Act, and the Violence Against Women Act. This project is authorized and funded through a line item in the FY 2010 Congressional Budget and by the joint explanatory statement that is incorporated by reference into the FY2010 Department of Justice Appropriations Act.

The Sam Houston State University will use the FY 2010 Congressionally Recommended Award for a crime laboratory which plays a critical role in the criminal justice process. The laboratory is an important component in the process of determining the nature of the collection, the appropriate means of preservation, as well as the forensic examination of samples concluding with the provision of scientific testimony before the courts. This application will utilize grant funds to operate a newly developed independent crime laboratory to service the most basic forensic needs of law enforcement agencies working in the ten county area surrounding Huntsville, Texas.

The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), headquartered in Austin Texas, with twelve field laboratories, provides a sound, free service to law enforcement agencies. Nevertheless, delays in processing samples sent to the Department have led to growing dissatisfaction in the field. The proposal addresses this issue through the development and operation of the crime laboratory to process the ever-growing number of toxicology cases submitted by law enforcement agencies. The result will be the introduction of a more time sensitive service to the departments in the local counties and a reduction in the burden on the DPS.

The SHSU Regional Crime Laboratory (RCL) is located as a unit in the world renown College of Criminal Justice/Criminal Justice Center where a Master of Science in Forensic Science provides a specialized, professional degree for students, professionals, or existing practitioners who want to further their knowledge in this area. Positioning the laboratory at an academic institution will demonstrate the independent integrity of the forensic examinations that are relied upon so heavily within the courts.


Date Created: September 6, 2010