The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) is the Department of Justice agency dedicated to supporting forensic sciences by funding states, units of local government, and other forensic service providers to increase capacity and efficiency, improve services, obtain the necessary resources to meet workload demands, and ultimately better serve justice.
This presentation will outline over $100 million in forensic science grant opportunities funded by BJA including:
- DNA Capacity Enhancement for Backlog Reduction (CEBR) Program
- Assists eligible states and units of local government to process, record, screen, and analyze forensic DNA and/or DNA database samples and increases the capacity of public forensic DNA and DNA database laboratories to process more samples.
- Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grants Program (Competitive and Formula)
- Seeks to improve forensic science and medical examiner/coroner services, including services provided by laboratories operated by states and units of local government.
- Postconviction Testing of DNA Evidence
- Assists in defraying the costs associated with postconviction case review, evidence location, and DNA testing in violent felony cases (as defined by state law) where the results of such testing might show actual innocence.
- Prosecuting Cold Cases using DNA Technology
- Provides funds to prosecute violent crime cold cases and decrease the number of violent crime cold cases awaiting prosecution.
- Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence - Inventory, Tracking, and Reporting Program (SAFE-ITR)
- Funds states and units of local government to implement an evidence management program to inventory, track, and report untested and unsubmitted sexual assault kits.
- Strengthening the Medical Examiner-Coroner System Program
- Funding through this program is designed to increase the supply of forensic pathologists and support the enhancement of medicolegal death investigations nationwide.
- The National Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI)
- Provides jurisdictions with resources to address their cold case sexual assaults/homicides.
Together, this forensic suite of programs is managed collectively by the BJA Programs and Policy offices to ensure funds are distributed and used in accordance with applicable law.
Detailed Learning Objectives
- Attendees will gain insight into the various forensic science programs available at BJA.
- Attendees will learn a brief history of each forensic science program at BJA.
- Attendees will review examples of relevant funded projects offered by BJA.
- Andrea Borchardt, M.S., Senior Forensics Policy Advisor, BJA