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Familial DNA: A series of reports released by the National Institute of Justice

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 2022

This is an introduction to and an entrance for online access to a series of four reports related to “Familial DNA, ” published by the U.S. Justice Department’s National Institute of Justice (NIJ) in August 2017.


The “Study of Familial DNA Searching Policies and Practice – Case Study Brief Series” reports on a multi-phase study of  familial DNA searching (FDS) policies and practices in the United States, using expert roundtables, a literature and policy scan of practice, a national survey of CODIS laboratories, cost modeling, and state case studies. The “Study of Familial DNA Searching Policies and Practices – National Survey of CODIS Laboratories Brief” reports on a survey of all state and local CODIS laboratories to learn about key considerations and varied practices related to FDS and partial matching (PM) in the United States. “Understanding Familial DNA Searching: Coming to a Consensus on Terminology” recognizes a lack of consensus on a standard definition of FDS, so it discusses terminology issues, identifies key characteristics that distinguish FDS from other practices, outlines the FDS process, and provides a unified definition to help alleviate confusion in the field. “Understanding Familial DNA Searching: Policies, Procedures, and Potential Impact, Summary Overview” is a summary of a multi-phase, mixed-method study on FDS policies and practices in the United States in an effort to provide a balanced examination of controversies and considerations from thought leaders on this topic.

Date Published: April 15, 2022