Evaluating the DNA Field Experiment
The Urban Institute evaluated many aspects of the five-city DNA and property crime experiment, including the additional costs
of using DNA analysis in a property crime investigation. The final report discusses:
- Cost to process DNA per case
- Cost paid by agency (police and the local/state laboratory)
- Cost per arrest/ID/profile
- Difference in outcomes (for example, the number of suspects identified and arrested with fingerprints vs. DNA)
- Types of cases with the greatest returns by:
- Evidence collector
- Type of crime (commercial, residential, motor vehicle)
- Type of evidence (cells, saliva, blood)
With respect to sample characteristics—and what they offer regarding best practices—blood samples were a highly significant
predictor of outcome. When compared to cells collected from items that were touched or handled, blood samples were:
- 6 to 8 times more likely to result in a DNA profile suitable for CODIS upload
- 3 to 5 times more likely of yielding a CODIS hit
Saliva samples were more than three times as likely to yield a DNA profile, a CODIS upload and a CODIS hit than cells collected
from items that had been touched or handled by the suspect.
Chapters in the The DNA Field Experiment: Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of the Use of DNA in the Investigation of High-Volume Crimes (pdf, 164
- The Use of DNA in Burglary Investigations
- Research Data and Methods
- Best Practices
- The Sites
- Denver, Colo.
- Los Angeles, Calif.
- Orange County, Calif.
- Phoenix, Ariz.
- Topeka, Kan.
- Cross-Site Analysis and Discussion
- Implications for Policy and Practice
Date Modified: June 16, 2008