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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, $379,993)

Idaho State Police Forensic Services (ISPFS) provides forensic services for approximately 1.6 million people in the state of Idaho. There has been a 107 percent increase in DNA case submissions in Idaho in the last year. The two-year increase in DNA submissions is 81 percent and there has been an 89 percent increase in biology cases that has lengthened turnaround times, forced overtime, and created a high stress work environment. The lab anticipates another triple digit increase in submissions this year. The lab currently has 165 DNA cases and 142 Biology cases over a 30 day turnaround time. The oldest case has been in the DNA lab for 403 days (13 months). Most of the increase is due to a new Idaho law requiring testing of all sexual assault kits, with a few exceptions. The lab currently has 582 previously unsubmitted sexual assault kits at the lab or pending submission by the end of the calendar year from law enforcement, in addition to new kits being collected each day in Idaho.

ISPFS is now offering Y-screening and will be offering Y-STR analysis starting this year. These services will be immensely popular with customers and will increase the case submissions to the lab.
ISPFS will employ one biology/DNA analyst and one DNA technician on this grant for the period of two years on a contract basis. The contractors will be hired through an employment agency since ISPFS does not have state funded positions for these individuals. ISPFS asks for new DNA positions every year from the state legislature, and while they are providing new DNA positions on a regular basis, the increased casework submissions outpaces the ability of the legislature to fund new positions. The DNA position on this grant will increase DNA case output capacity by an average of 10 cases a month when fully trained. The additional analyst, combined with process improvements will increase the casework capacity of the laboratory. Increasing the casework capacity of the laboratory will have the impact of decreasing the turnaround time. The DNA technician will allow duties currently taking the time of analytical staff to be done by a technician, thus freeing up more time for current analysts to work cases. The laboratory will be requesting state funding to continue these positions, and associated output capacity, at the end of the grant period.


Date Created: September 4, 2018