Factors That Prevent Crime Labs From Meeting The Increased Demand For Dna Analysis

Factors That Prevent Crime Labs From Meeting The Increased Demand For Dna Analysis

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There are five factors that prevent crime labs from meeting the increased demand for DNA analysis due to a backlog of cases. These factors are as follows: “Knowledge of the potential of DNA evidence to solve cases has grown exponentially among criminal justice practitioners and the general public a like, The number of DNA submissions for property crimes has skyrocketed, and these types of crime are much more commonplace than violent crimes, Advances that make it possible for tiny, trace amounts of DNA samples to be analyzed has led to more requests for DNA testing of guns and steering wheels to determine who may have last handled the object, Older and unsolved cases from the pre-DNA era are being opened and their samples submitted for testing in the hopes that usable information can be recovered, and older, pre-DNA cases resulting in a conviction have been reopened so, DNA testing can be done.
The Innocence Project is a perfect example of this type of demand for testing” (Swanson et at., pg. 229, 2012). Other factors contribute to the backlog of cases, such as lack of training, a lack of accreditation, DNA contamination, sentencing mistakes, and poor training. A lack of training is a very large issue when it comes to DNA analysis; the field has been forever changing and developing more accurate and faster ways of analyzing DNA samples. If those investigators that are analyzing the DNA have not been attending continuing professional education they will not know these new techniques, therefor slowing the process of analyzing and identifying the DNA samples. Another issue is a lack of accreditation, the most recognized and primary source of accreditation is the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors (ASCLD) (Swanson et at., ...


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...heir conclusions were incorrect.
The final additional factor is poor training, it is one thing to not have training at all, but if the training that the lab receives is poor and even possibly incorrect information then another larger issue is brought to the surface because now all of the analysis that the crime lab has produced may not at all be correct. In my personal opinion a crime lab would be better off to have a lack of training in an area rather than poor and incorrect training. Passing on a lack of training is one thing because there is no false information to be used, but in regards to poor training, incorrect information can absolutely be passed to another technician. All of the above factors can contribute to the backlog in crime labs of DNA analysis because they cause a halt or slowdown in the processing of the DNA samples that are in their possession.

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