The crisis of the growing backlog of DNA evidence and convicted offender samples in crime labs is nothing new, and most of the news reported on this issue is bleak. But there is some good news in Los Angeles: a federal grant will help the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department resume its efforts to reduce its backlog that includes evidence from thousands of rape and sexual assault cases.
According to Sheriff Lee Baca, lack of funding caused his department to suspend work on reducing the backlog of evidence dating back to the late 1990s. The Associated Press reports that California State University will receive $1 million to help the sheriff’s office and LA Police Department process the cases. The grant will fund a program that will help identify up to 250 cases for outsourcing to forensic DNA testing to private labs, pay for courses in advanced forensic training, and allow graduate students to provide administrative support to the agencies.