DNA Data Bank Oversight Panel

Minutes of meeting - March 10, 2009

Present at the meeting were Dawn Hellier, DPS Commissioner’s Office; Michael Bourke, DPS-Forensic Lab; Carll Ladd, DPS-Forensic Lab; Fred Levesque, DOC; Wanda White-Lewis, DOC; George Camp, DOC; Lynn Wittinbrink, AG’s Office; Sam Izzarelli, DPS-CSP; Jack Brooks, CSSD; Michael Aiello, CSSD; Michael Gailor, OCSA; and Judith Rossi, OCSA.

Upon motion and second, the minutes of the meeting of December 9, 2008 were accepted.  There was no public comment and no old business.


Report of DPS-Forensic Lab:

The Lab has 750 samples coming in each month. The backlog has increased in no-suspect cases, double what it was a year ago, particularly in property crime cases. The DNA Lab is current in processing murder and sexual assault samples. But the biology Lab has a backlog of rape kits to process.

Staffing problems continue – there is still discussion about whether the grant positions can be filled despite the state’s hiring freeze. If the grant positions are not filled, the Lab will have to return $1.5 million to the federal government. The Lab is still awaiting the release of federal grant money that will fund positions that are scheduled to end in July. No match of state funds is required. Unclear where the hold-up is. Commissioner Danaher and Chief State’s Attorney Kevin Kane will look into it.

Report of CSSD:

CSSD has ordered new test kits, but has no definite delivery date. CSSD personnel will work with DOC regarding the storage and supply of the kits.

CSSD is taking samples from 2d conviction DUI offenders. There is a case pending in Bridgeport where a 2d conviction DUI offender’s DNA sample was a “hit” on a no-suspect sexual assault.

CSSD reports an 80% compliance rate (21,000 samples taken). They plan to do more active enforcement. For refusals, they will send an affidavit to the State Police.

Where providing a DNA sample is a condition of probation, the failure to do so can constitute a violation of probation, as well as a new crime (refusal). They will add to the written conditions, with notice that a probation officer has the authority to seek a warrant for refusal to submit.

CSSD has lost 27 probation officer positions, and probation sentences are longer. There are presently about 1900 sex offenders on probation; the average load is 37 for each sex offender probation officer.

Report of CSP:

The State Police report that there are 3428 outstanding failures to submit a sample, and of those, only about 1000 are within the statute of limitations on the penalty.

There was a discussion about Substitute Bill 906, the pending legislative proposal for “automatic expungement” upon approval by the DNA Databank Oversight Panel.

There was a discussion of the latest SORNA issues. Connecticut has asked for a one-year extension for compliance with SORNA. The request is pending in the SMART office.

Executive Session – 11:08 a.m. to 11:13 a.m.

After coming out of Executive Session, the Panel took the following action upon motion and second:

  • A3-10-09 – Purged
  • B3-10-09 – Purged
  • C3-10-09 – Purged
  • D3-10-09 – Purged
  • E3-10-09 - Purged
  • B12-09-08 and D12-09-08 are still pending.

New Business

There is a national trend to obtain relatives’ DNA profiles in missing persons cases, and the DNA profiles of first responders.

Pursuant to federal law, the DNA of all newborns is now being collected.

The meeting adjourned at 11:30 a.m. The next meeting of the Panel is scheduled for June 9, 2009.