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DNA Capacity Enhancement Backlog Reduction (CEBR) Program

ABOUT CEBR

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 1.5 million cases completed

More than 3.7 million database samples completed

More than 645,000 forensic (crime scene) profiles uploaded to CODIS

More than 3.6 million databasing profiles uploaded to CODIS
More than 313,000 CODIS hits

GRANTEES

Map coming soon.

RESOURCES

Publications

Publicly Funded Forensic Crime Laboratories, 2020

This report provides data on the workloads, staffing, resources, policies, procedures, and budgets of the 326 standalone forensic laboratories and multi-laboratory systems in 2020. Continue reading…...

The National Institute of Justice’s Report to Congress: Needs Assessment of Forensic Laboratories and Medical Examiner/Coroner Offices

In conducting this needs assessment, the Department identified the importance of strengthening these types of efforts through the increased use and institutionalization of systems-based approaches. Further, this needs assessment compiles demonstrative evidence of how the field adapts to advancements in technology, changes in the volume and types of forensic evidence...

SAKI Toolkit: Prosecution of Sexual Assault Cases

Prosecutors face unique challenges when preparing to take a cold case sexual assault to trial. This category will assist prosecutors by providing information about unique aspects of a cold case sexual assault, overcoming common defenses, how to prepare for trial, and key considerations during trial. (Description taken from SAKI TTA...
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Multi-Media

FY2023 Grantee Orientation Webinar – Competitive DNA Capacity Enhancement for Backlog Reduction (CEBR) Program

This webinar features the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) introducing Competitive DNA Capacity Enhancement for Backlog Reduction (CEBR) Program grantees to the overall BJA team that works collectively to administer their award funds including the BJA Policy Office and BJA Programs Office. This webinar provides useful training information on how...

Triaging Cases – Case Management and All That Means

ASCLD Train the Directors Series Webinar: Webinar is about case management which can enhance efficiency and reduce backlogs. Continue reading…...

FBI Rapid DNA Informational Website

Information and resources about Rapid DNA in law enforcement. Continue reading…...
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Protocols

Protocols coming soon.
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Research

Research coming soon.
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HIGHLIGHTS AND EVENTS

BJA Forensics Programs FY23 Grantees

Congratulations and welcome to all BJA Forensics Programs FY23 grantees! Continue reading…...

CEBR Funding Contributes to Approximately Half of All CODIS Hits to Date

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...

Ohio BCI Receives Federal Grants to Assist in Continued Caseloads in Criminal Investigations

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Justice Programs (OJP) has awarded two grants totaling $434,099 to the Ohio Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI). This funding will assist the BCI in meeting expected caseloads and enhance overall lab capacity. This much-needed investment will assist the Bureau of...
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Upcoming Events

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Past Events

1st Annual BJA Forensics Programs Grantees Meeting

On behalf of the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), the Forensics Training and Technical Assistance (Forensics TTA) Team, led by RTI International, is hosting the 1st Annual BJA Forensics Programs Grantees Meeting, scheduled for October 2-3, 2023! Continue reading…...
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