Collecting DNA at Arrest: Policies, Practices, and Implications

Research Report

Collecting DNA at Arrest: Policies, Practices, and Implications

Abstract

This report examines arrestee DNA laws, their implementation in the field, and their subsequent effects on agency operations and public safety. Twenty-eight states and the federal government have enacted laws authorizing DNA collection from individuals arrested for or charged with certain offenses, and the practice has been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. Arrestee laws vary across states, particularly with respect to qualifying offenses, point of collection and analysis, and expungement procedures, and impose significant administrative and analytic burdens on state laboratories and collecting agencies. The report finds that arrestee DNA laws have contributed additional profiles to CODIS and led to additional hits, but is unable to estimate the total number of hits for which arrestee laws were solely responsible.

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