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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, $693,518)

The Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences Forensic Genetics Laboratory (HCIFS-FGL) will use funds from the NIJ DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Reduction Program to decrease the casework backlog and reduce turnaround time for violent crime cases. Harris County is the largest county in Texas and the third largest county in the United States.

The HCIFS-FGL provides forensic DNA analysis to approximately 65 law enforcement agencies in the county, excluding the Houston Police Department.

According to the Texas Crime Report for 2016, Harris County had an estimated population of 2.3 million people living outside the Houston city limits.

Approximately 80,000 offenses were committed in Harris County comprised of 10,000 personal crimes and 70,000 property crimes. The Harris County Institute of Forensic Science Forensic Genetics Laboratory received 2,964 cases in 2017.

NIJ grant funds will be used to assist in reducing the current casework backlog and reduce case turnaround time through outsourcing, overtime and by purchasing supplies. We estimate at least 900 cases will be analyzed using grant funded supplies, outsourcing and overtime.

Software will be purchased to upgrade current instruments and to increase the ability for more analysts to perform statistical calculations in casework.

Finally, funds from this award will be used to provide required continuing DNA education to staff through training and attendance to conferences. Overall the NIJ grant funds will increase the overall capacity and productivity of the HCIFS-FGL which will make a significant impact on the laboratory current backlog.


Date Created: September 5, 2018