August 25, 2011

CARDIN, MIKULSKI ANNOUNCE NEARLY $2 MILLION TO REDUCE DNA BACKLOGS IN MARYLAND

Federal grants will help law enforcement efficiently prosecute crimes, protect Maryland communities

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-Md.) today announced $1,797,559 in grants to reduce DNA backlogs in Maryland crime laboratories. These federal dollars are provided by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) National Institute of Justice, and are being awarded to the Maryland State Police, the City of Baltimore and Prince George’s County.

 “DNA testing is crucial for crime investigations, but a great deal of evidence that could implicate or eliminate suspects is sitting untested in laboratories,” said Senator Cardin. “This funding will help remedy DNA backlogs that are hindering public safety and the swift administration of justice in Maryland.” 

“I’m so pleased that this funding will be used to cut DNA backlogs in Maryland,” said Senator Mikulski, Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science which funds the DOJ. “Our state and local law enforcement work around the clock to keep our communities safe. These grants will allow them to effectively prosecute crimes and put violent offenders behind bars. I will continue fighting to make sure Maryland law enforcement has the resources it needs to keep our families safe.”

These federal grants were awarded by the National Institute of Justice through the DNA Backlog Reduction Program. They will assist state and local governments in reducing forensic DNA sample turnaround time, increasing the amount of casework processed in public DNA laboratories and reducing DNA forensic casework backlogs. 

 The list of grant awards is as follows:

  • Maryland State Police, in the amount of $758,796;
  • City of Baltimore, in the amount of $669,143; and,
  • Prince Georges County, in the amount of $369,620.

 As Chairwoman of the Senate Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations Subcommittee, Senator Mikulski works each year to put money in the federal checkbook for law enforcement, assuring local and state authorities have the resources necessary to protect Maryland’s families. Senator Cardin is a member of the Senate Budget and Finance committees.

 # # #