CAL-DNA Data Bank

CAL - DNA Data Bank 


Since 1999, there has been a large amount of effort from the Attorney General Office to improve DNA laboratories and to expanded the use of DNA technology. Attorney General Lockyer has lobbied for $25 million in "cold case" grants to provide law enforcement agencies throughout the state with the resources needed to submit for DNA analysis crime scene evidence of cases that had been sitting for years in cold storage.

The Attorney General's Office, whose mission is to assist the criminal justice system, has partnered with The Bureau of Forensic Services (BFS) to ensure crimes can be solved in an efficient manner.  Their forensic scientists collect, analyze, and compare physical evidence from crime scenes or persons and provide criminalistics, blood alcohol, and related forensic science information services to state and local law enforcement agencies, district attorneys, and the courts.  In addition to analyzing evidence, BFS also offers specialized forensic science training to personnel who are practitioners in the field of forensic science through the California Criminalistics Institute (CCI). 

Below are a few frequently asked questions related to the California DNA Data Bank.


CAL - DNA Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

1) When was the CAL-DNA Bank established?

The first hit by the CAL-DNA Data Bank was made in 1994 and involved the brutal rape and murder of a 76-year-old Richmond woman.

2) How many hits were there between 1994-1999?

Between 1994 and 1999, eight hits were made. Since then, the number of old cases solved has steadily increased as more DNA profiles of convicted  felons and forensic DNA profiles developed from crime scene evidence are uploaded into their respective databases. Currently, the CAL-DNA Data Bank contains 274,000 convicted felon profiles and 9,300 forensic profiles. At the end of September during this period, the CAL-DNA Data Bank had obtained 1,068 hits linking DNA crime scene evidence to specific felon offenders, and aided in 1,286 criminal investigations by linking DNA crime scene evidence to other criminal cases. One recorded achievement was when the CAL-DNA Data Bank made 110 hits that aided in 115 criminal investigations in one month, many dating back more than 20 years.

3) Who are the DNA samples currently collected from?

Currently, the CAL-DNA Data Bank houses samples from criminals and missing people.

4) How is the sample collected (method)?

Samples are collected throught a 'cheek swab'.

5) How many profiles does the CAL-DNA Data Bank contain for felon profiles and forensic profiles?

The CAL-DNA Data Bank contains 274,000 profiles for felons and 9,300 forensic profiles.

6) Currently how many hits have been made?

A total of 2,692 hits have been made and the total is growing.

7) Why has the number of hits steadily increased?

New people are added to the system and are never deleted.  In other words, convicted or not, once a person's DNA is in the system it remains there.  In addition, under state law, individuals convicted of 36 serious and violent felonies are required to submit biological samples that yield DNA profiles that are also stored in the CAL-DNA Data Bank.


C. Davis©2007


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