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Added August 2011DNA

Resources

For Victim Assistance Providers

DNA: Critical Issues for Those Who Work with Victims (Video)
Reviews evidence collection and preservation, the crime’s impact on the victim, victim notification at times during the criminal justice process, and victim involvement and participation in the process.

DNA & Crime Victims: What Victim Assistance Professionals Need to Know
Covers the basic science of DNA, evidence collection, samples and sources of DNA profiles, databases, and post-conviction DNA.

Forensics for Survivors
Describes sexual assault-related forensic information, support, and resources in ways that are easy for survivors and advocates to access and understand. It is available in English and Spanish.

Understanding DNA Evidence: A Guide for Victim Service Providers
Provides an introduction to DNA, forensic DNA testing, and DNA’s relevance to criminal investigations.

DNA Evidence: What Law Enforcement Officers Should Know
Instructs police officers in the proper methods of collecting and managing DNA evidence at crime scenes and reviews the CODIS system.

DNA Evidence Policy Considerations for the Prosecutor
Provides practical information about identifying, preserving, and collecting DNA to help solve cases.

DNA Forensic Evidence
Describes DNA and its analysis as well as basic considerations in evidence collection.

DNA Forensics Program 
Provides written materials about scientific advancements, case law and legislation, and consultation as well as advice on methods for effectively presenting DNA in court. Online training options, including special case circumstances and lab report analysis, are also provided.

DNA Hits in Cold Cases: Notifying Crime Victims
Provides practical suggestions for notifying victims following DNA cold case hits.

Forensic DNA Fundamentals for the Prosecutor: Be Not Afraid
Covers the basics of DNA, including DNA testing, trial issues, and potential defense challenges.

The Forensic Panel
Provides information about using behavioral and forensic sciences consultations in the courts.

Principles of Forensic DNA for Officers of the Court
Links to an interactive, self-paced course designed to educate prosecutors, defense attorneys, and judges about forensic DNA cases.

Sexual Assault Training & Investigations, Publications by Joanne Archambault
Features publications from the president and training director for the consulting firm Sexual Assault Training and Investigations Inc. The implications of DNA for law enforcement investigations and the dynamics of sexual assault are covered.

State Laws on DNA Data Banks
Lists offenses, by state, that qualify for DNA collection and defines when in the criminal justice system offenders must provide DNA samples.

Statutes of Limitations for Sexual Assault
Lists statutes of limitations by states, as of April 2007. Annually updated information about state-specific statutes is available here.

Using DNA to Solve Cold Cases
Reviews the science and technology of DNA testing and databases while describing legal and practical considerations for applying DNA technology to unsolved cases. It also presents a step-by-step process to help investigators select cases that would most likely be solved with DNA evidence.

Victim Assistance Unit, Cold Case Program (Denver)
Serves as the main point of contact to the Denver Police Department’s Victim Assistance Unit, its Cold Case Victim and Family Services, and its cold case program coordinator for victims of sexual assault and homicide and their family members.

General

CODIS–NDIS Statistics
Provides state statistics regarding the number of investigations aided by DNA evidence using CODIS and NDIS.  

DNA Resource.com
Links to news stories, resource reports, a DNA legislative database, discussions of international DNA issues, and support services.

Forensic Sciences
Presents multiple links to research and development, lab operations and forensic information, and investigative issues.

Identifying Victims Using DNA: A Guide for Families
Explains the process of identifying remains using DNA analysis. This resource is not specific to sexual assault.

The Justice for All Act
Presents information about the Justice for All Act, which seeks to protect crime victims’ rights, eliminate the backlog of DNA samples collected from crime scenes and convicted offenders, and improve and expand the DNA testing capacity of crime laboratories.

National Forensic DNA Study Report
Addresses casework backlogs, agency capacity for DNA analysis, CODIS, forensic DNA, crime prevention, cost and benefit questions, and policy implications.

National Institute of Justice (NIJ): Forensic DNA
Describes forensic DNA, the Combined DNA Index System, processing backlogs, using DNA to solve crimes, and other related information and includes tools for forensic scientists and laboratories.

A National Protocol for Sexual Assault Medical Forensic Examinations
Contains information about blood samples, saliva samples, and buccal swabs that are collected and used in DNA analysis.

Quality Assurance Audit for Forensic DNA and Convicted Offender DNA Databasing Laboratories
Includes an audit review form for compliance with the DNA Advisory Board Quality Assurance Standards for Forensic DNA Testing as well as the guidelines issued for Convicted Offender DNA Databasing Laboratories.