WASHINGTON — The United States Department of Justice recently announced findings of the first federal survey of publicly operated forensic crime labs that reveal, as of Dec. 31, 1997, at least 6,800 unprocessed DNA cases and as many as 287,000 unprocessed convicted offender DNA samples. That translates to 69 percent out of 108 laboratories surveyed in 1998 with a backlog of cases.

As of June 1998, states are required to collect DNA samples from specified convicted offenders, especially sex offenders and other violent felons.

In response to a growing backlog of these cases, a congressional fiscal year 2000 appropriation is now being directed at providing $15 million to deal with the problem and another $15 million for the Crime Laboratory Improvement Program.

For more information, call (800) 732-3277 or for more information, visit www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/.
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