The Office of Justice Programs at the Department of Justice recently announced grants of more than $145 million being awarded through various programs it helps to fund. These grants will cover initiatives centered on forensic science.
Notable inclusions from this total are:
• $78 million to state and local jurisdictions to help reduce DNA evidence backlogs.
• $18.7 million for funding into new or better forensic testing methods.
• $1.9 million for improving efficiency of current forensic testing methods.
• $27.3 million will go to state and local governments to fund crime labs, medical examiner’s offices, and coroner’s offices. This will also help clear backlogs of some physical evidence types.
• $5.5 million will go to fund daily operations of the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs), which acts as a central repository for missing persons and unidentified decedents.
• $1 million will be used to fund prosecution of “cold” cases of violent crime using DNA testing.
Some readers may not know that the federal government spends tax dollars funding scientific research. But, knowing this, it’s refreshing to see the DOJ allocating at least some money to exonerating the wrongfully convicted.
According to OJP Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Katharine T. Sullivan, “The Department is committed to improving and investing in forensic science because it plays a vital role in providing indisputable and scientifically based information that protects our communities.”
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