NIJ Audio: Backlogs and Their Impact on the Criminal Justice System

NIJ Conference Panel
June 2010

Evidence backlogs have been known to be an issue in crime laboratories. A recent study published by NIJ has shown that backlogs of untested evidence are also an issue in law enforcement evidence storage. This panel will discuss the issues and present preliminary findings from a study of the Los Angeles Police Department's and Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's experience with clearing out a large backlog of unanalyzed rape kits. Researchers are following the outcomes of the DNA analyses and examining case characteristics to get a better understanding of why these cases did not go forward in the first place. Panelists will also discuss backlog-reduction programs, legal and policy changes to backlog reductions, and potential future solutions, including capacity building, technology and information systems.

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Gerry LaPorte Forensic Policy Program Manager and Physical Scientist, National Institute of Justice

Joseph L. Peterson Professor and Director, School of Criminal Justice and Criminalistics, California State University, Los Angeles

Kevin J. Strom Senior Research Scientist, Crime, Violence, and Justice Research Program, RTI International

Joseph L. Peterson Professor and Director, School of Criminal Justice and Criminalistics, California State University, Los Angeles

Dean M. Gialamas Director, Scientific Services Bureau, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department

Joseph L. Peterson Professor and Director, School of Criminal Justice and Criminalistics, California State University, Los Angeles

Jeffrey Nye DNA Technical Leader, Forensic Science Division, Michigan State Police

Joseph L. Peterson Professor and Director, School of Criminal Justice and Criminalistics, California State University, Los Angeles

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