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TUESDAY, AUGUST 15, 2000202/307-0703

$15 Million Will Help States Reduce Backlogs and Clear More Cases

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Seven states will receive grants totaling more than $7 million to analyze DNA samples obtained from convicted criminals, the Justice Department announced today. The grants, being made by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), the Department's primary research and evaluation agency, will enable DNA samples, after analysis, to be entered into state systems and the FBI's Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) allowing the comparison of the specimens to those housed in other states through the national system.

The states receiving awards now are California, Florida, Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington. In the near future, NIJ intends to make 14 grants totaling more than $7 million to help additional states analyze backlogged DNA samples.

"We must do all we can to help our state and local partners employ 21st Century technology in their efforts to make communities safer," said Attorney General Janet Reno. "Increasing law enforcement's ability to use DNA evidence in the fight against crime makes sense and, ultimately, gets violent offenders off our streets."

Last year, the National Commission on the Future of DNA Evidence provided recommendations to the Attorney General on the current and future uses of DNA technology in the criminal justice system. Among those recommendations was one to help states analyze existing DNA samples that had been collected from convicted offenders but not yet analyzed and added to existing state systems and CODIS. At the time of the recommendation it was estimated that there were more than 750,000 unanalyzed samples in existence. Today's grants made under the DNA Backlog Reduction Program will help these states receiving the funds now to analyze 145,783 backlogged samples.

In addition, states will contribute DNA analysis of previously unanalyzed unsolved crimes to see if the samples of these cases matches the DNA profile of newly tested offenders to help solve old crimes. These and future analyzed samples will be added to CODIS.

"DNA is a very useful tool for investigators working on very difficult to solve cases," said NIJ Acting Director Julie Samuels. "In many cases, investigators are working hard to solve cases where a perpetrator has been apprehended for another crime and is already incarcerated. These grants will help link cases to convicted offenders and help investigators devote their energy to cases where the perpetrator is still at large and a threat to the community."

Additional information about NIJ can be found at Additional information about the Office of Justice Programs is available at The attached chart includes the amounts the states are receiving, the number of backlogged samples they will analyze and a local contact and phone number.


For more information contact: Doug Johnson at 202/307-0703


FY 2000 NIJ DNA Backlog Reduction Program
CA California Department of Justice $1,500,000 30,000 Jan Bashinski - 916/227-9564
FL Florida Department of Law Enforcement $ 400,000 8,000 William Coffman - 850/410-7645
MN Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension $ 200,000 4,000 Terry Laber - 651/642-0700
NY New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services $1,447,400 28,948 John Hicks - 518/457-1901
PA Pennsylvania State Police $ 653,000 13,062 Harry Fox, III - 717/772-0860
TX Texas Department of Public Safety $1,745,550 34,911 J. Ronald Urbanovsky - 512/424-2143
WA Washington State Patrol $1,343,100 26,862 Lynn McIntyre - 206/464-7073
Totals $7,289,150 145,783