More than $2.5 million aimed at addressing backlog of DNA from sexual assault kits
Seattle — U.S. Attorney Brian Moran today announced $4.9 million in Department of Justice grants to the Western District of Washington to fund crime laboratories, decrease DNA backlogs, support basic and applied forensic research, and help law enforcement identify missing persons. The grants, awarded by the Department’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP), are part of $192 million in funding to advance forensic science nationwide.
“Developments in forensic science have given investigators an extraordinary array of tools that can be enlisted to solve crimes and bring answers to victims and survivors, often after many years and even decades,” said OJP Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Katharine T. Sullivan. “These investments in crime-fighting technology, from DNA analysis to drug toxicology to forensic anthropology, will help identify and convict perpetrators, ensure justice for innocent victims and keep communities safe by deterring future criminal activity.”
“As a long-time state prosecutor, I have prosecuted cases where DNA and forensic science is what makes justice in a court of law possible,” said U.S. Attorney Moran. “These grants from DOJ will not only help ensure justice for victims and accountability for offenders, it will also help those who are wrongly accused or convicted get justice and reclaim their lives.”
Since 2004, the Office of Justice Programs has received an annual appropriation for DNA and other forensic science activities. The funding, administered through OJP’s Bureau of Justice Assistance and National Institute of Justice, supports DNA analysis, laboratory capacity enhancement, and forensic science research that provide knowledge and tools to improve the quality and practice of forensic science.
The following organizations received funding:
- Washington State Patrol – $1,862,128 to address DNA processing
- Washington State Patrol – $410,715 to improve forensic equipment
- Skagit County Coroner – $250,000 to improve forensic equipment
- Washington State Patrol – $500,000 for post-conviction DNA analysis
- King County Medical Examiner – $125,000 to improve death investigations
- Washington Attorney General – $670,000 to expand the DNA database for sexual assault cases
- Jensen Hughes Inc. – $270,000 – research and development in forensic sciences
- University of Washington – $711,000 – research and development in forensic sciences
- University of Washington – $107,205 – graduate research fellow
For a complete list of individual grant programs, award amounts, and jurisdictions that will receive funding, see the attached fact sheet. More information about OJP and its components can be found at www.ojp.gov.