News 10.24.07

States expand crime labs to meet rising demand and reduce backlogs

As crime labs across the country continue to suffer from enormous backlogs and the costs of conducting expensive forensic analysis, states are responding by attempting to increase their capabilities. Missouri and Texas have proposed crime lab expansion plans aimed at improving facilities and increasing the number of trained staff members.

Backlogs of forensic evidence can slow the legal system and lead to forensic errors or misconduct.

Read more about the Innocence Project’s recommendations for crime lab oversight here

.

Voters in

Texas

will determine this month whether to drastically expand crime lab capabilities in the state. If passed, the measure on the November 6 ballot would allow several state agencies to take out a total of $1 billion in bonds for crime lab maintenance and construction, including $7 million for a new crime lab in El Paso.

Read more here

.

The Springfield,

Missouri

, crime lab will undergo a nearly $600,000 expansion project next year. Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt announced earlier this month that he is recommending the budget increase in order to train new staff members and reduce the burden on other state crime labs. Springfield’s lab could increase forensic analysis capacity by as much as 30 percent, according to

an article in the Springfield News-Leader

.



Read previous blog posts about crime lab backlogs and reforms nationwide

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