Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2017, $923,216)
The Massachusetts State Police Crime Laboratory (MSPCL) will use funds from this program for the salaries of three Forensic Scientists to perform DNA analysis of biological samples. The grant-funded analysts will participate in a training program that will afford them the opportunity to assist with casework in a technician capacity prior to being authorized to conduct their own casework as fully qualified Forensic Scientists. The overall goal is for improved efficiency of current case flow within the Forensic Biology Unit provided by the assistance of the new analysts.
In addition, the MSPCL will use funds to purchase of necessary equipment and supplies, outsourcing of casework analysis to external vendor laboratories, hiring of temporary support staff and providing continuing education opportunities to analysts. Through these purchases and training opportunities MSPCL aims to improve capacity, reduce casework backlog, and enter DNA profiles into CODIS. The federal funding would allow the Forensic Biology Section to purchase new equipment, reagents and supplies necessary to improve upon the Section's current methods and increase overall casework capacity.
Additionally, funding to support outsourcing cases for screening and DNA analysis allows for additional backlog casework to be completed while maintaining the MSPCL's current workload and thereby increasing the volume of DNA profiles entered into the CODIS system. The federal funds provided by this program would also allow more analysts to attend educational opportunities and help ensure DNA analysts obtain the mandated 8 hours of training required by the FBI Quality Assurance Guidelines.
In summary, funds provided through this program will help support the MSPCL's continued goals to increase the capacity of the forensic biology section, reduce the casework backlog, and improve the turnaround time of forensic biology cases.