Is DNA Funding Keeping Violent Criminals on the Street? Crime in America.Net

Many of us see violent crime in the same way we see infectious disease; something that needs to be comprehensively addressed immediately. If there was an outbreak of disease running through your community and city and if left untreated, then all hell would break loose.

As far as we are concerned, something similar has been happening for the last decade regarding DNA and crime control. DNA collection and analysis is possibly the penicillin of our day. It has the potential to identify an endless number of criminal offenders for everything from murder and rape to burglary and car theft.

As long as you’re collecting DNA samples from those convicted (all states) and arrested (some states) you have a tool far more powerful than fingerprints.

The problem is that the states are not properly funding their DNA collection and analysis efforts. Quote from a new Department of Justice document explaining all this:

“The degree of reliance on federal funding reported by many laboratories suggests a critical need for state and local governments to seriously evaluate investment in their own forensic crime laboratories. Without a commitment to find permanent funding solutions for crime laboratories, it is likely that laboratory dependence on federal grants will continue.” See

The document is endlessly polite; what federal authorities are really saying to the states is “For the love of god, please protect your citizens and fund your DNA efforts.”

Readers of this site know our endless drum-beating about state and local budget issues and how they are hampering (destroying?) our criminal justice systems. See for previous articles.

The most cynical among us suggest that states do not properly fund DNA because it would bring too many offenders into the criminal justice system and the states are just barely keeping up with the current numbers. The other explanation is simply that the states cannot afford it.

All we know is that there are dangerous offenders moving throughout society simply because states do not have the money/won’t spend the money to properly fund DNA efforts.

Crime in America.Net

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