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FY 2017 DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Reduction (CEBR) Program

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2017, $340,501)

The Maine State Police Crime Laboratory is the state agency that is responsible for analyzing evidence associated with criminal investigations for all state and local law enforcement agencies within the state of Maine. The Laboratory is the only full-service laboratory in Maine. Maine state law requires the state laboratory to be responsible for conducting DNA analysis on DNA database samples collected from all convicted felons and some misdemeanor offenders; the Maine State Police Crime Laboratory is responsible for storing and maintaining the resultant profiles in the Maine DNA Data Bank.

The laboratory faces budgetary concerns which constrain our ability to hire additional state-funded staff. In past years, the Laboratory has been able to significantly reduce casework backlogs with DNA analysts working under this grant funding and plans to continue with this success that would not be possible without the grant funds. We propose to use grant funds to support the continued part-time salary of one grant-funded DNA analyst.

The Laboratory hired a biology screener under the FY14 DNA Backlog Reduction Program and will continue to employ a grant-funded biology screener with FY17 grant funds to process, record, and screen items for biological evidence for DNA testing.

The Laboratory also face financial constraints on our ability to make large capital equipment purchases and accordingly plans to purchase new, more efficient, DNA instruments to replace those that have reached the end of their useful lives. We would like to purchase a real-time PCR quantification instrument with this grant program.

The field of forensic DNA has been transitioning to probabilistic genotyping (PG) for complicated mixture analysis from the current use of calculated probability of inclusions (CPI). To move to PG the Laboratory would need to purchase new software, technical support, and maintenance. The deconvolution of complicated mixtures is extremely time-consuming. It is expected that this software to speed up interpretation and usefulness of complicated mixtures.


Date Created: September 29, 2017