Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2016, $1,022,219)
The 2016 Paul Coverdell Forensic Sciences Improvement Grant addressed by this application is a comprehensive forensic science improvement program that affords qualifying forensic laboratories in California an opportunity to improve on their efficiency and effectiveness to provide forensic science services. Through the improvement of the quality and timeliness of forensic services, the reduction of the number of backlogged cases, and the sustained education and training of forensic personnel, Californias local forensic science laboratories, medical examiners offices and coroners offices will continue to provide a valuable tool to law enforcement and prosecutorial agencies throughout the state.
There are many challenges facing Californias forensic laboratories today the transferring of inmates from the state system to each county via Assembly Bill 109, budget cuts, and the turnover of qualified personnel to cover core components of forensic analysis, to name a few and each have negatively impacted local forensic science laboratories, medical examiners offices and coroners offices around the state.
As each California crime laboratory, medical examiners office and coroners office is unique, Cal OES will utilize the 2016 Paul Coverdell Forensic Sciences Improvement Grant funding to support an innovative statewide program the California Coverdell Program that allows qualified forensic laboratories the flexibility to use a combination of any or all of the aforementioned objectives to fund projects that meet the overall state goal and federal intent of the program.