DNA Data Bank Oversight Panel 

Minutes of meeting of September 8, 2021

The meeting of the DNA Data Bank Oversight Panel convened at 9:30 a.m.

Participating in the meeting were Patricia Johannes, DESPP/DSS-Forensic Lab; Megan Olt DESPP/DSS-Forensic Lab, Dr. Carll Ladd, DESPP/DSS-Forensic Lab, Cheryl Carreiro, DESPP/DSS-Forensic Lab,  Sevasti Papakanakis,  DESPP/DSS-Forensic Lab David Maiga, Department of Correction (DOC); Elizabeth Tugie, (DOC); Janet Ainsworth, DESPP/Legal: Kathleen Ayers, DESPP/Legal; Joseph Lopez, Office of the Public Defender(OCPD); Robert Meredith (OCPD), Michael Gailor, Division of Criminal Justice(DCJ), John Doyle, (DCJ), Regina Hebert, Court Support Services Division (CSSD)/Judicial Branch, Robert Dearington, Office of the Attorney General(OAG), Lt. Matthew Garcia, DESPP/Connecticut State Police(CSP), Sgt. Luke LaRue, DESPP(CSP).

The minutes of the meeting on June 9, 2021, were unanimously approved.

DESPP/DSS-Forensic Lab, per CODIS State Administrator Patricia Johannes, reported that as of June 1, 2021, a total of 129,048 convicted offender samples have been submitted to the lab; 377 were received between June 1, 2021 and September 9, 2021.129, 425 convicted offender samples have been received at the lab as of September 1, 2021. Of these samples, 7,217 were determined to be duplicate submissions. 121,543 convicted offender samples have been profiled and reside in CODIS as of June 1, 2021. 351 convicted offender profiles were added to CODIS between June1, 2021 and September 1, 2021. Approximately 253 convicted offender samples are waiting to be processed/entered into CODIS as of September 1, 2021. There are 18,706 profiles in the Forensic Index as of September 1, 2021.

The backlog of forensic cases includes 855 assigned to the DNA Unit. DSS reported that 8,240 investigations have been aided so far by 8,397 confirmed hits. Approximately 112 candidate matches are under evaluation. The average time it takes to send out notification of the hit once it has been obtained was 15 days during the period of June 1, 2021 to September 1, 2021.

DESPP/DSS also reported that new software and a new server for the CODIS database is expected to be online by the end of 2021. The software is expected to improve the functionality of the system.

Dr. Ladd informed the committee at the June meeting that a new version of STR software was being implemented in the DSS which would assist with CODIS entry Dr. Ladd informed the committee that this interpretive software will aid analysts and should be available later in the fall. It was reported that the standardization of this software will aid analysts in making CODIS entry determinations.

CSSD/Judicial Branch reported that from April through June 2021 it sent 178 initial and 83 warning letters to individuals whose sentences included a period of probation to remind them of their obligation to provide DNA samples. CSSD/Judicial Branch sent 30 initial and 13 warning letters to individuals who were not sentenced to a period of probation. CSSD/Judicial Branch sent 5 requests for arrest warrants to the Connecticut State Police (CSP) for individuals who failed to provide a sample and requested the Department of Correction collect 8 samples. In this period, CSSD collected samples from 176 individuals.

The Department of Correction (DOC) reported that it has collected 203 samples from inmates required to submit a sample during this period and has collected 441 samples in the year to date. Currently, 73 inmates are awaiting a collection appointment and 99 inmates have refused to provide a sample in violation of the Connecticut General Statutes. It was noted that the first of the inmates who have refused is not scheduled to be released until 2023.

Lt. Garcia (DESPP/CSP) reported that he has been assigned new duties upon his promotion and Sgt. Luke LaRue of the CSP will be now be supervising the Offender Registry Unit of the DESPP. The following information was provided with a report range of June through August of 2021. The Sex Offender Registration Unit obtained 27 samples for new Offenders of which 25 have been submitted for testing and 2 are pending submission.  The 27 samples included those taken from new offenders as well as offenders who came in to the Registry to update their information and did not have a sample on record.  The Deadly Weapon Offender Registration Unit obtained 3 samples from new Offenders during the same time period.

DESPP/CSP requested from Court Support Services Division CSSD/Judicial Branch, additional collection kits to be used to comply with CGS Sec.54-102g. CSSD indicated it would arrange to provide additional kits to DESPP/CSP.

Attorney Lopez (OCPD) requested that a discussion of the use of Rapid DNA technology within the State of Connecticut be tabled for a future meeting.

The Committee determined that there was no need to discuss any business in Executive Session.

The meeting concluded at 10:15 a.m.