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Quartet helping to resolve DNA backlog cases

Federally-funded program to utilize skills of CSULA criminalistics graduate students

Pictured: (l-r) Kari Mar, Alejandra Ramirez, Froseen Dahdouh, and Jennifer De La Cerda.

Working directly with local law enforcement agencies, four CSULA criminalistics M.S. students are playing important roles in reducing DNA forensic casework backlog in sexual assault cases.

The aspiring criminalists—Froseen Dahdouh, Jennifer De La Cerda, Kari Mar and Alejandra Ramirez—contribute their technical assistance 20 hours a week in the Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center as part of the recently-established Smart Backlog Reduction Program. The team retrieves and organizes case files; updates information on the evidence-tracking systems; and prioritizes, documents and outsources the DNA evidence kits to private labs for analysis.

The Smart Backlog Reduction Program, in partnership with the Los Angeles Police Department and the L.A. County Sheriff’s Office, is funded through a $1 million federal appropriation to the California Forensic Science Institute (CFSI) at Cal State L.A. The program aims to eliminate the backlog of untested kits in both the L.A. county and city crime labs. Ultimately, it may be a key step in bringing many of the perpetrators of unsolved cases to justice.

For background on the program:

“Advancing Justice” (Cal State L.A. TODAY, fall 2009 issue)

“Target, outsource, train: Keys to DNA backlog issue” (press release):

Here are links to reference:

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Last Update: 01/12/2016