Is Arrestee DNA Collection Cost-Effective?


The implementation of state laws expanding DNA collection to include arrestees has caused significant administrative and analytical burdens on state laboratories and collecting agencies, according to a study by the non-profit Urban Institute.

In order to assess the affects of arrestee DNA laws, researchers examined how courts have interpreted DNA provisions, how they have been implemented at state laboratories and collecting agencies, and the growth of DNA databases as a result of the laws.

The study found that arrestee DNA collection has assisted law enforcement in matching crime scene DNA to profiles in databases such as the FBI Combined DNA Index System (CODIS).

But researchers noted that questions remain about the cost effectiveness of arrestee DNA collection policies. Some laboratories reported not receiving additional funding to go along with new laws that required arrestee DNA collection.

Researchers found that the ability to expunge data for arrestees acquitted or whose cases were dismissed is often cited as an important safeguard. “However, expungements are rare when arrestees must initiate the process and are otherwise administratively problematic.”

Read the full report HERE.

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