Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2017, $108,332)
The Mississippi Forensics Laboratory (MSFL), an ASCLD/LAB-International, ISO 17025 accredited system, consists of a central full-service laboratory in Pearl and three regional laboratories located in Batesville, Meridian and the Gulf Coast. The mission of the laboratory is to provide the highest quality, objective services in the recognition, collection, preservation, scientific analysis and the interpretation of physical evidence in the pursuit of truth within the criminal justice system. The MSFL management is committed to good professional practice and to the quality of testing in servicing its customers. The goal of the 2017 Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grants Program is to provide laboratories with the tools needed to improve the quality and timeliness of forensic services that they provide.
The Mississippi Forensics Laboratory (MSFL) proposes to accomplish the goal of the Program by meeting the following three objectives. 1. Provide continuing education to the forensic scientists for the dissemination of information, methods, research, and newly developed examination techniques and instrumentation in their area of expertise. Certification of examiners and laboratory accreditation requires continuing education. Training directly related to the duties of the analysts will improve the quality and timeliness of MSFL forensic services. Deliverables include a) reduction of case backlog, b) forensic analysts acquiring individual certification and c) certified analysts and forensic managers acquiring required continuing education units.
2. Reduce the MSFL backlog of forensic casework by providing overtime funds for MSFL Firearms examiners to address a significant backlog of casework. Deliverables include a) reduction in the average number of days from the submission of an examination request to the completion of test results in this section and b) a reduction in the total number of backlogged Firearms cases.
3. The MSFL quality management system is committed to maintaining conformance to ISO 17025 accreditation standards to ensure the technical competence of our laboratories and provide customers with a reliable quality casework product. Funds are requested to pay the required maintenance fees associated with the accreditation of the MSFL by the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors//Laboratory Accreditation Board (ASCLD-LAB)::ANAB ANSI-ASQ for January 1, 2018 through December 31, 2018 and the fees associated with the on-site reassessment in August of 2018. Deliverables include a) good standing accreditation status and b) successful ASCLD-LAB on-site accreditation visit.