U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

FY 2017 DNA Capacity and Backlog Reduction Program

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2017, $1,597,337)

The North Carolina State Crime Laboratory has the responsibility of providing forensic DNA analysis and a convicted offender/arrestee database for the entire state. Funding from this grant will be used to increase capacity and to reduce the number of backlogged cases in the forensic biology section, and to increase the capacity of the database section for the analysis of database samples and their upload into CODIS.

The forensic biology section currently has a backlog of approximately 900 forensic biology/DNA cases. Since June 2014, this backlog has been reduced from over 4,000 cases. Prior success in this area has been maintained, in part, through grant funding for laboratory supplies and overtime for analysts. Due to previously implemented efficiencies in its casework process, the section no longer utilizes overtime; but it does plan to continue the model of requesting additional funds for laboratory supplies. An equipment request has also been made to help increase efficiency in performing analysis. A request for training travel has been made to help provide continuing education opportunities for analysts in the forensic biology and database sections.

These requests coupled with continued process improvements, and additional analysts beginning released from training will aid the section in increasing its capacity. Based on this increase, the section expects the number of backlog cases and the turn-around time to continue to decrease.

The database section currently has a backlog of approximately 600 samples. Prior success in this area has been maintained through process efficiencies and training new analysts. Over the past two years, the database section has used grant funding for laboratory supplies for the in-house processing of database samples.

State legislation for an all felony arrestee database continues to be considered, which would increase the number of untested samples and the time it takes to load those samples into CODIS. To account for this potential increase, the section is continuing its request to receive funding for in-house sample analysis and CODIS hit confirmations. It is expected that this in-house analysis, coupled with new analysts being released from training will increase the number of samples analyzed/uploaded per year and will allow the database section to maintain its current backlog of 43 days.


Date Created: September 29, 2017