WASHINGTON — Congress sent President Barack Obama legislation Thursday renewing a soon to expire program that helps local governments cut their backlogs of unexamined DNA evidence in rape cases.
The program provides federal grants to state and local law enforcement agencies so they can speed their analyses of untested evidence kits. Experts say many thousands of such kits are languishing in communities around the country, including some that are many years old.
BISMARCK, North Dakota — North Dakota is getting $200,000 in federal funding to help process DNA evidence at the state crime lab.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Nearly $342,000 in federal funding is headed to the West Virginia State Police to improve the state forensic laboratory.
The funding announced by U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall will be used to update and purchase new technology, hire evidence technicians, and to continue the education and training of forensic analysts.
NIJ is now accepting applications from laboratories to conduct research on ways to improve the accuracy and timeliness of analyses of physical evidence in forensic science labs. Proposals should be for research, evaluation or validation projects that will:
1. Inform best practices through evaluation of the existing laboratory protocols.
2. Result in a validated method that may be replicated by other laboratories.
3. Have a direct and immediate impact on laboratory efficiency and assist in making laboratory policy decisions.
WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. — Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-Westchester/Rockland) announced a $312,865 Department of Justice grant for Westchester County’s Forensic Science Services on Monday.
The goal of the grant, provided through the DOJ’s DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Reduction Program, is helping states and local governments increase existing crime laboratories’ capacity so they can analyze DNA samples more efficiently and cost effectively, reducing DNA evidence backlogs.
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Justice’s National Institute of Justice has awarded $63,029 to the North Dakota attorney general’s office to improve forensic science and medical examiner services.
A federal agency within the Commerce Department is looking to give $20 million to fund a new forensic science research center.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) on Tuesday announced a competition for money to build the center, which will work on establishing “a firm scientific foundation” for key methods in the sciences.
About $41 million has been earmarked to help expedite the nationwide processing of rape kits, which preserve evidence of sexual assault, authorities said Tuesday.
Raleigh, N.C. — Major backlogs in the State Crime Lab keep growing because of a shortage of DNA analysts and scientists who test blood in drunken driving cases, state Attorney General Roy Cooper has said, and the delays have caused some criminal charges to be dismissed.
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Justice Programs (OJP), National Institute of Justice (NIJ) is seeking applications for funding under the FY 2014 NIJ DNA Arrestee Collection Process Implementation Grants Program. This program furthers the Department’s mission by offering assistance to eligible States with existing designated DNA database laboratories to help defray the costs associated with the implementation of DNA arrestee collection processes, to improve the capacity of laboratories that conduct DNA analysis of DNA database samples.
Congress is poised to approve $41 million sought by the Obama administration to examine untested DNA evidence collected from rape victims and held by state and local police across the country.
LANSING, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) – Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette announced Thursday that $3 million has been budgeted by the state legislature to help fund sexual assault prosecutions.
Specifically, the money will be going toward “the ongoing effort to DNA test thousands of unprocessed sexual assault evidence kits.”
The RCMP says it will avoid cuts to vital police services — at least for now — due to revised funding agreements with the provinces, technological advances and some internal streamlining.
Money shortfalls recently forced the Mounties to look at paring back some national services such as DNA analysis, fingerprinting operations and criminal intelligence.
The House of Representatives voted Thursday to add $5 million in funding to its 2015 appropriations bill for processing evidence in alleged rape cases. Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), proposed the $5 million addition, which comes on top of an existing $36 million already set aside for rape-kit processing in the proposed budget
NEW YORK — New York City’s medical examiner will use $2.4 million in extra funding to lower the time it takes to process DNA in criminal cases.The Wall Street Journal (http://on.wsj.com/1kez59S ) says Acting Chief Medical Examiner Barbara Sampson told a City Council budget hearing Tuesday the money would be used to hire 16 more criminologists.