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Collecting DNA From Arrestees: Implementation Lessons

NCJ Number
NIJ Journal Issue: 270 Dated: June 2012 Pages: 18-25
Date Published
June 2012
8 pages
Publication Series
As part of an NIJ-funded Urban Institute project that is examining the collection of DNA from arrestees, this study examined how key provisions of State arrestee DNA-collection legislation influence activities associated with DNA collection and analysis.
A review of laws in the 28 States that have passed legislation authorizing the collection of DNA samples prior to conviction focuses on the following provisions: the offenses that are eligible for DNA collection; the point in case processing when a DNA sample can be collected or analyzed; who is responsible for DNA collection; what policies govern the collection and analysis of duplicate samples; and who is responsible for initiating expungement of a DNA profile if a qualifying charge is dismissed or results in acquittal. Based on the findings, the researchers recommend that legislators who may be considering the expansion of DNA collection in their States should address the system changes that may be required to implement the new policy. Clearly, collecting and analyzing DNA samples from arrestees requires planning, resources, and time to support State crime laboratories and collecting agencies. Existing data systems may require integration and automation, and laboratories will likely need additional resources in order to hire and train staff, develop collecting-agency training materials, and design and distribute new DNA-collection kits. Training should be ongoing due to turnover in collecting agencies. The development of new systems and materials, staff training, and preparing for new responsibilities will require a few months to a year, depending on the scope of additional responsibilities. 1 figure and 17 notes

Date Published: June 1, 2012