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NCJRS Celebrates National Library Week April 12-18

National Library Week

Started in 1958, National Library Week is a nationwide observance celebrated by all types of libraries - including the NCJRS Virtual Library. NCJRS invites you to explore the breadth and scope of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection and services. With more than 220,000 collection documents and 60,000 online resources, including all known Office of Justice Programs works, it is one of the world’s largest criminal justice special collections.

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NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Library collection.
To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the NCJRS Abstracts Database.

How to Obtain Documents
NCJ Number: NCJ 232197     Find in a Library
Title: Making Sense of DNA Backlogs, 2010 - Myths vs. Reality
  Document URL: PDF 
Author(s): Mark Nelson
Date Published: 02/2011
Page Count: 20
  Annotation: After defining DNA backlogs in the Nation’s DNA laboratories, this paper considers why these backlogs continue in spite of Federal funding that has been made available by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) through the DNA Imitative betweem 2005 and 2009.
Abstract: There is no industry-wide agreement about what constitutes a backlog for DNA laboratories. NIJ defines a backlogged case as one that has not been tested 30 days after submission to the crime laboratory; however, many crime laboratories consider a case backlogged if the final report has not been provided to the agency that submitted the case. The definition used obviously affects the count of backlogged cases. In addition to defining a DNA backlog, it is also important to identify the type of backlog. This report reviews the two types of DNA backlogs found in crime laboratories, i.e., those that involve forensic evidence (also called backlog of DNA cases) and the backlog of DNA samples taken from convicted offenders and/or arrestees in accordance with State statutes. In addition, this report also considers untested forensic DNA evidence being stored by law enforcement agencies and not yet sent for laboratory testing. Although Federal funds have been used to purchase automated workstations and high-through-put instruments, hire new personnel, and validate more efficient procedures, these efforts to increase DNA laboratory capacity have only managed to keep the backlog from being worse than it is. Backlogs persist because the demand for DNA testing is continuing to increase beyond testing capacity because of growing awareness of the potential for DNA evidence to assist in solving cases. The increased demand stems primarily from the increased amount of DNA evidence being collected in criminal cases and because of the expanded effort to collect DNA samples from convicted felons and arrested persons. 6 exhibits and 4 notes
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Crime Laboratories (Crime Labs) ; Evidence identification and analysis ; Funding sources ; National Institute of Justice (NIJ) ; Crime laboratory management ; DNA fingerprinting
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/NCJRS
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United States of America

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Type: Issue Overview
Country: United States of America
Language: English
Note: NIJ Special Report
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