Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2019, $421,635)
The Union County Prosecutors Office Forensic Laboratory is seeking funds to address a backlog of cases for DNA testing in the Forensic Biology section, specifically a backlog of sexual assault forensic evidence (SAFE) kits. The laboratory has made significant strides in decreasing the backlog of cases in the laboratory by utilizing Lean Six Sigma principles to streamline the workflow and increase efficiency. It will be difficult, however, for the laboratory to absorb and test all of these kits without affecting the turnaround time of all other cases submitted for testing. The laboratory validated a Y-screen procedure to quickly and efficiently screen backlogged kits for the presence of male DNA. We are requesting funding to purchase some additional laboratory equipment to maximize the effectiveness of this procedure. The lab is also seeking funding to support one full-time analyst, one full-time technician, one part-time contracted analyst, and overtime for existing employees as well as analysis supplies to process DNA cases.