ABOUT US

BJA Forensics Portfolio

Established in 1984, the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) seeks to strengthen communities by supporting jurisdictions across the United States to overcome challenges faced by the criminal justice system. BJA’s overarching mission is to enhance community safety through providing resources and developing policies to support state, local, and tribal jurisdictions. To accomplish this mission, BJA collaborates with communities, governments, and nonprofit organizations to address violent crime, recidivism, and unnecessary confinement.

 

In alignment with their mission, BJA’s Forensics Unit provides federal funding through the following Forensics Programs to combat violent crime, resolve cases, lower recidivism, increase public safety, and enhance justice:

 

 

To learn more about these Forensics Programs view the BJA Forensics Unit Programs Fact Sheet. 

 

BJA offers states, units of local government, and other forensic science service providers a wide range of resources through these Forensics Programs. Geared toward addressing systemic and emerging criminal justice challenges, these Forensics Programs work to increase capacity and efficiency, improve services, meet workload demands, and advance the reliability and consistency of forensic science services. Through bridging resource gaps within the field, BJA’s Forensics Programs strive to facilitate enhanced community safety and achieve widespread criminal justice reform.

MEET THE BJA TEAM

Angela Williamson

Forensics Unit Supervisor

Andrea Borchardt

Senior Policy Advisor – Forensics
  • DNA Capacity Enhancement for Backlog Reduction (CEBR) Program

  • Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grants (Coverdell) Program

  • Postconviction Testing of DNA Evidence (Postconviction) Program

Thurston L.
Bryant

Senior Policy Advisor
  • Forensics Training and Technical Assistance (Forensics TTA) Program

  • Missing and Unidentified Human Remains (MUHR) Program

  • Strengthening the Medical Examiner-Coroner (ME/C) System Program

Carey A. Hendricks

Senior Policy Advisor – Forensics
  • Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI)
  • Prosecuting Cold Cases Using DNA (COLD) Program

SUPPORT STAFF

Hannah
Barcus

Associate (Contractor)
  • Missing and Unidentified Human Remains (MUHR) Program

  • Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI)
  • Prosecuting Cold Cases Using DNA (COLD) Program

Vanessa Castellanos

Associate (Contractor)
  • Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grants (Coverdell) Program

  • Postconviction Testing of DNA Evidence (Postconviction) Program

Lindsay
DePalma

Associate (Contractor)
  • DNA Capacity Enhancement for Backlog Reduction (CEBR) Program

  • Forensics Training and Technical Assistance (Forensics TTA) Program

  • Strengthening the Medical Examiner-Coroner (ME/C) System Program

DIVISION 9

Alan C. Spanbauer

Supervisory Grants Management Specialist

Tahitia Barringer

State Policy Advisor
  • DNA Capacity Enhancement for Backlog Reduction (CEBR) Program

Ebony Mack

State Policy Advisor
  • DNA Capacity Enhancement for Backlog Reduction (CEBR) Program

Kathryn Manning

State Policy Advisor
  • DNA Capacity Enhancement for Backlog Reduction (CEBR) Program

  • Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI)

  • Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) Training and Technical Assistance (TTA) Program

Caroline Shriver

State Policy Advisor
  • DNA Capacity Enhancement for Backlog Reduction (CEBR) Program

  • Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) 

  • Forensics Training and Technical Assistance (Forensics TTA) Program

  • Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) Training and Technical Assistance (TTA) Program

BRANDON MITCHELL

State Policy Advisor
  • DNA Capacity Enhancement for Backlog Reduction (CEBR) Program

  • Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI)

IVELISSE HODGE

State Policy Advisor
  • DNA Capacity Enhancement for Backlog Reduction (CEBR) Program

DIVISION 11

ESMERALDA WOCHE

Supervisory Grants Management Specialist

Monte E. Evans II

State Policy Advisor
  • Missing and Unidentified Human Remains (MUHR) Program

  • Prosecuting Cold Cases Using DNA (COLD) Program

  • Strengthening the Medical Examiner-Coroner (ME/C) System Program

DIVISION 12

KIMBERLY WILLIAMS

Supervisory Grants Management Specialist

EMMA WEST RASMUS

State Policy Advisor
  • Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grants (Coverdell) Program

KATHY MASON

State Policy Advisor
  • Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grants (Coverdell) Program

RENA MEMMEDLI

State Policy Advisor
  • Postconviction Testing of DNA Evidence (Postconviction) Program

Jimmy Steyee

Program Specialist (Performance Management)

Carlos Orbe, Jr.

Senior Research Associate (Contractor)
  • DNA Capacity Enhancement for Backlog Reduction (CEBR) Program

  • Missing and Unidentified Human Remains (MUHR) Program

  • Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grants (Coverdell) Program

  • Postconviction Testing of DNA Evidence (Postconviction) Program

  • Prosecuting Cold Cases Using DNA (COLD) Program

  • Strengthening the Medical Examiner-Coroner (ME/C) System Program

Evangelica “Eva” Juarez

Research Associate (Contractor)
  • DNA Capacity Enhancement for Backlog Reduction (CEBR) Program

  • Missing and Unidentified Human Remains (MUHR) Program

  • Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grants (Coverdell) Program

  • Postconviction Testing of DNA Evidence (Postconviction) Program

  • Prosecuting Cold Cases Using DNA (COLD) Program

  • Strengthening the Medical Examiner-Coroner (ME/C) System Program

Armonee Avent

Research Assistant (Contractor)
  • DNA Capacity Enhancement for Backlog Reduction (CEBR) Program

  • Missing and Unidentified Human Remains (MUHR) Program

  • Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grants (Coverdell) Program

  • Postconviction Testing of DNA Evidence (Postconviction) Program

  • Prosecuting Cold Cases Using DNA (COLD) Program

  • Strengthening the Medical Examiner-Coroner (ME/C) System Program

FORENSICS TTA PROGRAM

The Forensics Training and Technical Assistance (Forensics TTA) Program, led by RTI International in partnership with subject matter experts, practitioners, and researchers offers expertise and assistance to grantees of the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) Forensics Programs.

 

The Forensics TTA Program provides TTA supporting BJA Forensics Programs grantees to meet strategic goals and objectives, implement national recommendations into policy, enhance capacity and outcomes, and foster sustainability through the implementation of new technologies to enhance existing policies and practices. This assistance is accomplished by offering a variety of services, including the following:

 

      • Proactive engagement with grantees to develop materials based upon agency needs
      • Training and educational sessions (e.g., webinars, working groups) developed by subject matter experts 
      • Remote guidance on forensic-related issues
      • Assistance in increasing site capacity 
      • Efforts to translate lessons to the field 

 

The Forensics TTA Program aims to improve the quality of forensic science services performed by BJA Forensics Program grantees through innovative solutions that embody development, technology, information sharing, training, and best practices resource development. Through enhancing the services provided by BJA Forensics Program grantees, the Forensics TTA Program seeks to empower grantees to meet current challenges in forensic science and increase public safety across the nation. 

 

If you have questions for the Forensics TTA team, please reach out to ForensicsTTA@rti.org 

MEET THE FORENSICS TTA TEAM

Patricia Melton

Project Director

Ashley Rodriguez

Project Co-Director

Jason Chute

Lead Coach
  • DNA Capacity Enhancement for Backlog Reduction (CEBR) Program
  • Postconviction Testing of DNA Evidence (Postconviction) Program

Dustin Driscoll

Lead Coach
  • Missing and Unidentified Human Remains (MUHR) Program

Erica Christensen

Lead Coach
  • Strengthening the Medical Examiner-Coroner (ME/C) System Program
  • Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grants (Coverdell) Program

Lindsey Wade

Lead Coach
  • Prosecuting Cold Cases Using DNA (COLD) Program

Erin Forry

TTA Strategist

Chris Williams

Operations
Director

Mikalaa Martin

TTA Resource
Manager

Emily Strelka

TTA Resource Coordinator

Kelsey Massutti

TTA Resource Coordinator

Amanda Young

Senior
Technical Advisor

Lisa Malette

Project
Manager

COMBINING EXPERTISE FOR EFFECTIVE JUSTICE