Despite Increased Funding, DNA Backlog Continues at State Crime Labs

Cops take too many samples to process


State and local crime labs have received almost $700 million in federal grants over the past five years to reduce DNA testing backlogs, but it's not clear how many cases they actually cleared, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office.

Since 2000, Congress has directed the Department of Justice to send money to state and local crime labs so they can more quickly process the thousands of DNA samples collected by police each year. But the backlog persists, in large part because police are collecting DNA more often. There were at least 91,000 untested DNA samples at the end of 2011, the most recent estimate available, according to the National Institute of Justice.