Nearly two years after the U.S. government allocated $28.5 million to help state and local crime labs reduce a massive backlog of untested DNA samples, less than half of the money has been used, a Justice Department report said Monday. The federal DNA initiative was touted as a way to speed up investigations into thousands of homicides, rapes and other crimes. It is in such disarray that Justice Department inspectors were unable to determine precisely how many DNA analyses had been done as part of the program, which has spent about $11.6 million, reports USA Today.
The report by the Justice Department’s inspector general reflected the difficulty federal officials have had in building a national DNA database that includes information from state crime-lab databases. Some states, such as Virginia, have spent millions of dollars to build databases to help create the federal system; several other states have not made DNA testing such a high priority. The federal database, maintained by the FBI, includes more than 1.7 million profiles.