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FY 2018 DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Reduction Program

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2018, $273,431)

The Kern County District Attorney’s Office- Forensic Science Division (Kern Regional
Crime Laboratory) has recently demonstrated significant improvements in casework production with the help of funds provided by the DNA CEBR Programs.

From 2016 to 2018, the laboratory was able to reduce the backlog from approximately 300 to 20 cases. The DNA casework turnaround time has also decreased from more than 200 days to approximately 100 days.

The goal for the DNA unit is to continue to improve on the casework turnaround time while ensuring that the backlog does not increase. In addition, it is important to continue to improve on the unit’s ability to process more DNA samples.

Maintaining the current number of criminalists and technicians in the unit is essential to the goal. Six criminalists and two forensic technicians are currently assigned to the DNA Analysis Unit; however, due to the economy in Kern County, the laboratory is faced with the layoffs. Due to mandatory Civil Service rules regarding layoffs, some of the DNA criminalists and technicians are the most vulnerable for elimination as they are a few of the most recent hires in the laboratory. The loss of staff within the DNA Unit would jeopardize the laboratory’s ability to sustain a high level of production.


Date Created: August 31, 2018