Evaluation of NIJ's DNA Forensic Unit Efficiency Program

Research Report

Evaluation of NIJ's DNA Forensic Unit Efficiency Program

Abstract

This evaluation examined the implementation and outcomes of a 2008 National Institute of Justice program designed to increase the volume of DNA evidence processing through innovative methods designed to increase efficiency instead of expanding laboratory capacities. Four crime labs funded by this program participated in the evaluation. The key implementation findings were that there were significant implementation delays, largely the result of external demands and administrative constraints; and, project management varied across the sites with a laboratory-wide collaborative approach appearing to be most successful. DNA evidence processing productivity and efficiency also varied across sites. Nonetheless, outcome findings did provide support for the hypothesis that DNA processing can be improved in novel and innovative ways besides simply increasing capacity.

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