This is a report of the proceedings of a meeting of Forensic Laboratory Directors from various regions of the country convened by the U.S. Justice Department's National Institute of Justice (NIJ) for the purposes of obtaining information and feedback on NIJ programs that are dedicated to forensic science laboratories, as well as providing an opportunity for an open discussion about the needs and challenges facing forensic science practitioners.
This report summarizes the input and opinions from a diverse group of crime Laboratory Directors; however, it does not represent the views of all recipients of DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Reductioon (DNA CEBR) and Coverdell grants. It was clear at the meeting, however, that both the DNA CEBR and Coverdell programs are critical resources that strengthen the quality of forensic science in the country. It was also evident at the meeting that forensic laboratories continue to face challenges posed by the increasing demand for DNA and other forensic analyses, especially in sexual assault cases.
NIJ's strategic response aims to increase laboratory capacity and efficiency, decrease the price of testing, and increase CODIS uploads and hits.
The feedback and comments received from the meeting will be used by NIJ to develop strategies that strengthen the DNA and Coverdell programs while ensuring that taxpayer funds are used effectively in strengthening forensic science services.