Brown Announces Major DNA Lab Expansion

Monday, May 5, 2008
Contact: (415) 703-5837, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

RICHMOND-- California Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. today announced a “major expansion” of California’s DNA laboratory and database, preparing the state to begin collecting DNA samples from every felony arrestee beginning January 1, 2009.

"Today's major expansion of the state laboratory prepares California to collect DNA from every felony arrestee starting in 2009,' California Attorney General Brown told a news conference at the Jan Bashinkski DNA Laboratory in Richmond. 'California's DNA program is giving local law enforcement critical investigative leads in thousands of unsolved crimes,' Brown added.

Since Proposition 69 passed in 2004, the state laboratory has uploaded an average of nearly 200,000 DNA profiles annually. When law enforcement begins collecting DNA from every adult felony arrestee in January 2009, the quantity of DNA submissions is estimated to increase to 390,000 per year.

In preparation for the incoming DNA, the state has expanded its laboratories and storage facilities in Richmond by approximately 28,000 square feet.

At today’s grand opening ceremony, Attorney General Brown announced that California’s DNA database, which currently houses more than 1 million offender DNA profiles, has completed a $10 million expansion to accommodate the more than 2 million samples expected over the next 5 years as a result of Proposition 69 expansions, starting in 2009.

Susan Fisher, the Governor’s Crime Victims Advocate, joined Attorney General Brown in making today’s announcement.

The California Attorney General’s Office has the third largest DNA database in the world, just behind national databases in the United States and United Kingdom. The current DNA budget is approximately $31.5 million, $28 million of which is Proposition 69 funding.

To date, the state laboratory has reported over 6,000 hits, links between crime scene evidence and an offender in the DNA database or to other crime scenes. These hits continue to solve crimes and improve public safety in California.

The Bureau of Forensic Services is the scientific arm of the Attorney General's Office whose mission is to assist the criminal justice system. Forensic scientists collect, analyze, and compare physical evidence from crime scenes or persons. They also provide criminalistics, blood alcohol, and related forensic science information services to state and local law enforcement agencies, district attorneys, and the courts.

For more information on Prop 69 and the state’s DNA program visit: http://ag.ca.gov/bfs/prop69.php

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