Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2017, $672,118)
Connecticut faced significant budgetary challenges that resulted in restrictions placed on the submission of property crime cases to the Forensic Biology/DNA Section in 2013.
These restrictions were lifted in February 2015. Since that time, the number of cases with requests for FB/DNA analysis has increased over 130%. Coupled with the lifting of the restrictions are continued budgetary limitations and a hiring freeze. Faced with these challenges, the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection requests Federal grant funds to support the Division of Scientific Services, which serves the entire state of Connecticut with a population of 3.6 million.
Project goals and objectives and expected outcomes and major deliverables:
- To reduce the backlog of forensic DNA cases by about 775 and, as appropriate, enter profiles into state and national DNA databases
- To increase the testing capacity of the Forensic Biology/DNA Section
- To reduce the backlog of database samples by 3,000 and enter database profiles into state and national DNA databases
- To increase the professional development of staff
Grant funds will support overtime, fringe benefits, equipment, supplies, forensic casework outsourcing, and other costs.
Supplies (300 cases), overtime (175 cases), and outsourcing (300 cases) will reduce the casework backlog by 775 cases. Supplies will reduce the DNA database sample backlog by 3,000 samples. All eligible casework DNA profiles and all DNA database sample profiles will be entered into CODIS.
The agency will complete about 20% more forensic cases with grant-funded overtime, other costs, supplies, outsourcing, and equipment than would be possible without Federal support. The forensic cases processed, recorded, screened, and analyzed under this grant program will decrease the average turnaround time by 20 days from what would be possible without Federal support. The current turnaround time for database sample processing is 50 days with Federal support. Without this grant support (current solicitation), the database sample turnaround time would be in excess of 90 days.
The capacity of the Division of Scientific Services laboratory will be increased by the use of grant-funded overtime, fringe benefits, equipment, and supplies. Without the Federal support, the size of both the forensic and database backlogs would be significantly larger than with the Federal support.
There will be no formal partnerships in delivery of services under the project.