DNA Capacity Enhancement Backlog Reduction (CEBR) Program
The DNA Capacity Enhancement for Backlog Reduction (CEBR) Program increases the number of forensic DNA and DNA database samples processed for entry into the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI’s) Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) by providing funding for laboratories to process DNA samples and to increase their capacity to process DNA samples for CODIS upload. Eligible applicants are states and units of local government with existing crime laboratories or laboratory systems that conduct forensic DNA and/or DNA database sample analysis. Among other things, eligibility for CEBR funding requires government laboratories to be accredited and have access to CODIS.
To learn more about the CEBR Program and potential funding opportunities, please visit DNA Capacity Enhancement for Backlog Reduction (CEBR) Program.
The DNA Identification Act of 1994 authorized the creation of NDIS and provided the first funds for capacity building purposes. The DNA Backlog Elimination Act of 2000 authorized the Department of Justice to provide grants for state and local laboratories to process samples for inclusion in the FBI’s CODIS. In 2004, the DNA Backlog Elimination Act was reauthorized and renamed the “Debbie Smith Act” after sexual assault survivor Debbie Smith. The legislation authorizes funding for eligible public laboratories to (1) process DNA samples for inclusion in CODIS and (2) increase the capacity of laboratories to process DNA samples for inclusion in CODIS.
When the grant program was first offered in 2005, it contained two related components: (1) the Forensic DNA Capacity Enhancement Program and (2) the Forensic DNA Casework Reduction Program. In fiscal year 2007, the two programs were combined, and in fiscal year 2011, the Convicted Offender and/or Arrestee DNA Backlog Reduction Program was incorporated into the DNA Backlog Reduction Program. The consolidation of the related programs into one program was designed to make it easier for grantees to use federal funds to fulfill their individual needs. The program has since been named the "DNA Capacity Enhancement for Backlog Reduction Program."
By providing funding to assist laboratories with processing DNA samples for entry into CODIS, the CEBR Program facilitates evidence-based criminal justice decisions and responses. With increases in capacity to process more DNA samples for entry into CODIS, CEBR-funded laboratories are able to help law enforcement reduce violent crime, support prosecutors in their efforts to meet their mission, and create safer communities.
As technology advances to improve the analysis of DNA evidence, there is a respective increase in demand for DNA testing. Furthermore, the technology is becoming more complex and costlier, and laboratory budgets struggle to meet the increased demand as identified in DOJ’s 2019 Needs Assessment of Forensic Laboratories and Medical Examiner-Coroner Offices.
Delays in testing evidence result in delays in justice, which can lead to additional victimization by serial offenders or incarceration of the innocent.
Recent performance data from grantees show that CEBR funding is responsible for more than 500 CODIS hits per week. Based on the reported metrics, the CEBR Program has contributed to approximately half of all CODIS hits to date. See the FBI's CODIS-NDIS Statistics page for more information on CODIS and BJA's DNA CEBR Grantees page for more information on program accomplishments.
Key Performance Metrics
More than 1.4 million cases completed
More than 3.6 million database samples completed
More than 615,000 forensic (crime scene) profiles uploaded to CODIS
More than 3.4 million databasing profiles uploaded to CODIS
More than 295,000 CODIS hits
Map coming soon.