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Prosecuting Cold Cases Using DNA

NCJ Number
Date Published
July 2021
1 page

This Fact Sheet of the U.S. Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) reports on BJA’s Prosecuting Cold Cases Using DNA Program’s objectives, requirements, data on funding and awards for FY 2019 and FY 2020, and accomplishments.


The Prosecuting Cold Cases Using DNA Program aids prosecutors and provides funding to support agencies in the resolution of cases and cold cases that involve violent crimes, with a focus on those cases in which suspects have been identified through DNA evidence. The program requires that 1) a prosecutorial body must be a fully engaged project partner; 2) suspects’ DNA profiles have already been obtained (can be known or unknown suspects); and 3) forensic genetic genealogy must follow the interim policy of the U.S. Justice Department. There were two awards in FY 2019 totaling $970,239 and 10 awards in FY 2020 totaling $4,700,000. During these years, multiple suspect profiles were uploaded to CODIS and IAFIS/AFIS; overtime was granted to work cold cases; numerous cases with suspect DNA identified were pending prosecution; and three suspects were charged and are awaiting trial. 1 table, resource list, and a profile of BJA