DNA Databank Oversight Panel - January 21, 2014

DNA DataBank Oversight Panel

Minutes of Meeting
January 21, 2014
Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection Forensic Laboratory
Meriden, Connecticut

The meeting convened at 9:42 a.m. Present at the meeting were Guy Valero, Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP)-Forensic Lab; Angela Przech, DESPP-Forensic Lab; Patricia Johannes, DESPP-Forensic Lab; Megan Olt, DESPP-Forensic Lab; Matthew Garcia, DESPP; Antoinette Webster, DESPP-Legal; Michael Aiello, Judicial Branch, Court Support Services Division (CSSD); and Michael Gailor, Office of the Chief State’s Attorney.

The minutes of the meetings of September 10, 2013, and January 7, 2014, were reviewed and accepted.

On behalf of the laboratory, Ms. Johannes reported that as of December 31, 2013, approximately 99,308 convicted offender samples (the number has not been corrected for duplicates) have been submitted to the lab. Of these samples, 95,558 (up 1467 from the last report) have been profiled and reside in CODIS. The backlog of convicted offender samples waiting to be processed has been reduced by 236 to 606. There are 5,338 profiles in the Forensic Index.

The lab reported that 2283 investigations have been aided so far based on 2233 confirmed hits. Approximately 75 candidate matches are under evaluation.

The lab further reported that there are approximately 2498 cases awaiting testing to be done.

The lab reported that the outsourcing of forensic samples to BODE Technologies and Cellmark continues. Approximately 825 cases have been sent out. Data from approximately 375 cases has been returned, analyzed and has resulted in approximately 65 new CODIS entries.

The lab reported that they will be signing a revised memorandum of understanding with the FBI in the spring of 2014. The MOU is a non-negotiable agreement required to participate in CODIS. The lab is working on the development and implementation of certain best practices: specifically, the scheduling of state searches prior to uploading specimens, putting notes into the comments section to document deletions, and restoring data test to check the integrity of backup systems. The lab also proposed a gap study to determine the discrepancy between the number of individuals whose profiles should be in the DNA database and the number of actual profiles in the database. The Judicial Branch, Court Support Services Division (CSSD) indicated it would attempt to gather data that would help in the study.

The Committee voted unanimously to approve the adoption of procedures developed by the lab that would allow it to resolve identified collection and eligibility issues in a timely manner.

The Judicial Branch, CSSD reported that from April 2013 through September 2013, they scheduled 1260 appointments to obtain DNA samples and that they were able to collect 987 samples which is a collection rate of approximately 78 percent. They reported 507 profiles were obtained from other sources. CSSD reported that in 652 non-probation cases they needed to obtain samples from 247 individuals, approximately 38%. CSSD sent 27 memos to the Department of Correction asking them to collect samples and submitted 20 new warrants for the refusal to submit to the taking of a DNA sample to the State Police.

The Committee went into executive session at 10:47 a.m. At 11:13 a.m. the Committee came out of executive session. As a result of discussion during the executive session, sample identified as 1-21-14 A will be destroyed.

At 11:13 a.m., the meeting was adjourned. The next meeting of the Oversight Committee was scheduled for March 11, 2014, at 9:30 a.m. at the Forensic Science Laboratory.