DNA Data Bank Oversight Panel
Minutes of Meeting
December 13, 2011
The meeting convened at 9:40 a.m. In attendance were members/designees Robert H. Powers, Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP)-Forensic Lab, Carll Ladd, DESPP-Forensic Lab, Michael Bourke, DESPP-Forensic Lab, George Camp, Department of Correction (DOC), Michael Aiello, Court Support Services Division (CSSD), Joe Biela, DESPP, Dawn Hellier, DESPP, Lynn Wittenbrink, Attorney General (AG), and Michael Gailor, Office of the Chief State's Attorney (OCSA).
The minutes of the meeting of September 27, 2011, were reviewed and were unanimously accepted without modification. There was no public comment.
Dr. Bourke reported that the lab’s accreditation has not been restored as of yet. He indicated that they were trying to get a conditional accreditation for the short term but that they didn’t expect full accreditation until the first week of March at the earliest. He indicated that at the time being they are analyzing a limited number of DNA cases, primarily those that are necessary for upcoming trials. The lab is mindful of the fact that any profiles it generates now cannot be uploaded into CODIS. Because the lab is limiting the number of cases it is analyzing it is focusing more of it’s resources on the validation process.
Dr. Bourke reported that a new version of CODIS (Combined DNA Index System) software has been installed that will expedite both state and national searches. A recent test showed that the time to do a state search decreased from four to five hours to a couple of minutes.
Dr. Bourke reported that approximately 87,532 convicted offender samples have been submitted to the Connecticut Forensic Science Laboratory (that number has not been corrected to account for duplicates and/or administrative purges) and that approximately 82,176 have been profiled and are resident in CODIS. The lab has approximately 3,600 samples that have yet to be processed. Dr. Bourke noted that the reduction in the number of cases yet to be processed since the last meeting is attributable to the fact that the lab was able to factor out a number of duplicates and purges. The forensic index contains 4,242 profiles. As of November 30, 2011, five thousand two hundred fifteen forensic cases were backlogged awaiting DNA processing. The lab reports a total of 1,816 confirmed hits as of November 30, 2011.
The lab will hire one durational position on December 30. A second person offered a position rejected the offer. The lab hopes to begin interviewing again after the first of the year.
Michael Aiello of the Court Support Services Division reported that since July of this year they have collected samples from 577 individuals and from 2,307 since January 1, 2011. They have sent nineteen warrants to the state police for further action.
Sergeant Joseph Biela of the Department of Public Safety DNA unit reported that they are processing all 19 of the cases referred by CSSD and that, otherwise, things are functioning smoothly.