DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE RELEASES INTERACTIVE TRAINING TOOL ON PRINCIPLES OF FORENSIC DNA
The National Institute of Justice (NIJ), the research, development and evaluation arm of the Department of Justice, developed the training tool. Additionally, the tool is part of President Bush's DNA Initiative, Advancing Justice Through DNA Technology, and was developed in response to the President's call in his 2005 State of the Union address to improve state criminal justice systems through training for judges, prosecutors, and defense counsel to ensure they are adequately trained to handle criminal trials.
"This DNA training tool will serve as a crucial primer on DNA evidence for all of those who work in the courtroom and within the criminal justice system," said Regina B. Schofield, Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs. "As more crimes are solved using DNA evidence, it is important for prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges, juries and other criminal justice professionals in the courtroom to understand the science behind DNA analysis when it is presented as evidence."
DNA was first introduced as evidence in the
The President's DNA Initiative is a five-year, $1 billion commitment to improve the nation's capacity to use DNA evidence by eliminating casework and convicted offender backlogs; funding research and development; improving crime lab capacity; providing training for all stakeholders in the criminal justice system; and conducting testing to identify the missing. Administered by NIJ, the President's DNA Initiative has awarded more than $200 million in DNA grants to communities nationwide.
As part of the President's DNA Initiative, Principles of Forensic DNA for Officers of the Court, has 15 training modules including:
Newer DNA analysis techniques can yield results from biological evidence invisible to the naked eye, even in cases
where the evidence is contaminated. Today, police departments throughout
Principles of Forensic DNA for Officers of the Court and more information about the President's DNA Initiative can be found at www.dna.gov. NIJ made the training tool available for the first time today at the annual meeting of the
The Office of Justice Programs (OJP) provides federal leadership in developing the nation's capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice, and assist victims. OJP is headed by an Assistant Attorney General and comprises five component bureaus and an office: the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; and the Office for Victims of Crime, as well as the Community Capacity Development Office, which incorporates the Weed and Seed strategy and OJP's American Indian and Alaska Native Affairs Desk. More information can be found at www.ojp.usdoj.gov.