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Virginia DFS FY 2017 Backlog Reduction Program

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2017, $1,376,805)

The Department of Forensic Science (DFS) is a statewide forensic laboratory system, which offers a full range of forensic laboratory services and is accredited by ASCLD/LAB-International® (American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/ Laboratory Accreditation Board).

DFS will use award funds to retain the current grant-funded scientists and support staff in the Forensic Biology Section, who support both forensic casework and the Virginia DNA Data Bank.

DFS anticipates an increase in sexual assault kit submissions as a result of legislation that went into effect July 1, 2016, which requires, with limited exceptions, Virginia law enforcement agencies to submit sexual assault kits for analysis within 60 days of receiving them. These additional cases have the potential to create a bottleneck in the processing of forensic casework samples statewide. To prevent this, it is essential that DFS maintain the funding for our grant-funded DNA examiners and support staff.

In addition, DFS will use funding to provide continuing education for its DNA scientific staff, in accordance with the FBI Quality Assurance Standards. Funds from this program will pay for continuing education following state and federal guidelines, assisting DFS in maintaining fully-qualified DNA staff.

DFS will also purchase buccal swab kits for the collection of DNA samples from convicted felons and eligible arrestees. The efficient operation of the DNA Data Bank is due in part to the type of collection device that is used to collect buccal samples. These collectors can be processed by robotic instrumentation, rather than by hand. The robotic procedures were specifically designed and validated to process this type of sample collection device. This allows for an efficient means to process the samples generating DNA profiles for inclusion into the state database.


Date Created: September 29, 2017