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Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grants Program

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2018, $297,993)

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) provides the criminal justice community with a full-service, state-of-the-art forensic laboratory and is tasked with analyzing samples submitted by law enforcement agencies and coroner’s offices throughout the state.

While the need to decrease the number of backlogged cases at SLED is evidenced by the number of cases that have not been processed (see Program Narrative), progress is being made in this area through the use of Paul Coverdell grant funds for overtime hours and equipment purchases.

Local laboratories also continue to experience backlogs due to the number of cases they are receiving from law enforcement agencies in their areas. With the increase in drug arrests in the regions where these facilities exist, more cases are being sent directly to these labs rather than SLED, resulting in additional backlogs.

The opioid epidemic has caused an influx of cases across the state, which has further contributed to the number of backlogged cases at SLED and local laboratories. In order for forensic labs to increase productivity and efficiency, they must purchase instrumentation and train personnel to remain current with technology standards. Utilizing Paul Coverdell funds to upgrade outdated equipment, obtain additional training, and provide funding for overtime hours for lab personnel will allow for more rapid processing of evidence, faster case turnaround, and quicker apprehension, prosecution and conviction of criminal subjects.


Date Created: September 21, 2018