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Statewide Forensic Improvement Plan

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2018, $1,177,260)

A large portion of this award will be distributed evenly to the eighteen (18) interested NYS laboratories to specifically target the challenges the opioid crisis has brought to the NYS forensic science community. Funds will be used to obtain reference materials, testing supplies, personal protective equipment, provide resources for training as well as to support overtime needed to address the opioid crisis.

Remaining funding will be distributed evenly to the eighteen (18) interested NYS laboratories to provide applicants with resources to help continue to improve the quality and timeliness of public forensic and medical examiner services.

As the state administering agency, Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) is working closely with New York State's accredited forensic and medical examiner laboratories to improve each laboratories’ efficiency and effectiveness in the delivery of forensic analysis services to their client agencies. As a requirement to receive funding under this grant announcement, laboratories are required to submit to DCJS a certification stating that they had an improvement plan detailing how Coverdell funding would help to reduce/eliminate backlogs and improve overall timeliness and quality of forensic and medical examiner services.

In addition to the laboratory improvement plan, all laboratories within New York State are encouraged to participate in technical working groups whose purpose it is to improve the quality of forensic sciences within the state. As presented in the program narrative and budget, much of Coverdell funds requested will support laboratory equipment and personnel/fringe expenses. The former will primarily help to increase laboratory efficiency and allow laboratory staff to complete multiple tasks simultaneously, while the latter will support staff hours to help reduce/eliminate case backlogs.

While having the most current technology and overtime hours necessary to process more cases, it is also essential that these agencies use funding to train and educate the personnel using the equipment. Coverdell funds will also be used for costs associated with mandatory laboratory accreditation and for supplies to support case processing. This Coverdell grant will allow each of these agencies the opportunity to reduce and/or eliminate their backlog through their chosen method.


Date Created: August 31, 2018