U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

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, $296,170)

The Maine State Police Crime Laboratory (MSPCL) is the state agency that is responsible for analyzing evidence associated with criminal investigations for all state, county and local law enforcement agencies within the State of Maine. We are the only full-service laboratory in Maine.

Maine State law requires our state laboratory to be responsible for conducting DNA analysis on DNA database samples collected from all convicted felons and some misdemeanor offenders; the
Maine State Police Crime Laboratory is responsible for storing and maintaining the resultant profiles in the Maine DNA Data Bank.

The laboratory faces budgetary concerns which constrain our ability to hire additional state-funded staff. In past years, MSPCL has been able to significantly reduce casework backlogs with analysts working under this grant funding. The MSPCL desires to continue with this success that would not be possible without the grant funds. We propose to use grant funds to support the continued part-time salary of one grant-funded DNA analyst. We hired a biology screener (Forensic Chemist) under FY14 DNA Backlog Reduction Program funding. This has allowed the Laboratory to significantly reduce the sexual assault case backlogs. The lab also proposes to continue to employ a grant funded biology screener with FY18 grant funds to process, record, and screen items for biological evidence for DNA testing.

MSPCL also faces financial constraints on our ability to make large capital equipment purchases. The Laboratory will purchase new, more efficient and more sensitive DNA instruments and the necessary associated equipment to replace those that have reached the end of their useful lives. Accordingly MSPCL will purchase a real-time PCR quantification instrument, biosafety recirculating hoods, and specialized extraction instrumentation to detect low level DNA.


Date Created: August 31, 2018