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Publicly Funded Forensic Crime Laboratories: Resources and Services, 2014

NCJ Number
250151
Date Published
November 2016
Author(s)
Andrea M. Burch, <em> Bureau of Justice Statistics</em>; Matthew R. Durose, <em>Bureau of Justice Statistics</em>; Kelly A. Walsh, <em>Urban Institute</em>; Emily Tiry, <em>Urban Institute</em>
Publication Type
Publication
Annotation
Presents data on the resources and services of state, county, municipal, and federal forensic crime laboratories operating in the United States during 2014 and compares findings with census data from previous years.
Abstract

Presents data on the resources and services of state, county, municipal, and federal forensic crime laboratories operating in the United States during 2014 and compares findings with census data from previous years. This report describes crime lab functions, budgets, personnel, outsourcing, and workload, including the number and types of forensic services received, completed, and backlogged. Findings are based on data from BJS's 2014 Census of Publicly Funded Forensic Crime Laboratories. See also Publicly Funded Forensic Crime Laboratories: Quality Assurance Practices, 2014.

Highlights
  • The nation's 409 publicly funded crime labs received an estimated 3.8 million forensic requests in 2014 and completed 3.6 million requests that year (which included requests received prior to 2014).
  • At the end of 2014, U.S. crime labs had an estimated backlog of 570,100 requests for forensic services—a decline from 895,500 backlogged requests at yearend 2009.
  • DNA database samples from convicted offenders and arrestees made up 39% of requests to federal labs, 36% of state labs, and less than 5% of requests to county and municipal labs.
  • Thirty-eight percent of publicly funded crime labs outsourced one or more types of forensic services during 2014.
  • Publicly funded crime labs employed 14,300 full-time personnel in 2014.
  • The combined operating budgets for publicly funded crime labs in 2014 was $1.7 billion. 
Date Created: November 17, 2016