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Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grants (Coverdell) Program

ABOUT COVERDELL

The Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grants (Coverdell) Program awards grants to states and units of local government to help improve the quality and timeliness of forensic science and medical examiner/coroner services, including services provided by laboratories operated by states and units of local government. Offering both a Competitive Program and a Formula-based Program, recipients of Coverdell funds must use the grant for one or more of these six purposes:

 

  1. To carry out all or a substantial part of a program intended to improve the quality and timeliness of forensic science or medical examiner/coroner services in the state, including those services provided by laboratories operated by the state and those operated by units of local government within the state.
  2. To eliminate a backlog in the analysis of forensic science evidence, including, among other things, a backlog with respect to firearms examination, latent prints, toxicology, controlled substances, forensic pathology, questioned documents, and trace evidence.
  3. To train, assist, and employ forensic laboratory personnel, as needed, to eliminate such a backlog.
  4. To address emerging forensic science issues (such as statistics, contextual bias, and uncertainty of measurement) and emerging forensic science technology (such as high throughput automation, statistical software, and new types of instrumentation).
  5. To educate and train forensic pathologists.
  6. To fund medicolegal death investigation systems to facilitate the accreditation of medical examiner and coroner offices and the certification of medicolegal death investigators.

 

To learn more about the Coverdell Program and potential funding opportunities,
please visit Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grants (Coverdell) Program.

The Coverdell Program assists forensic science laboratories and medical examiner/coroner’s offices to improve their services that are often crucial to the outcome of criminal cases. This program provides flexibility in funding a wide-ranging set of activities performed by approximately 400 publicly funded forensic laboratories in the United States and its territories.

 

The Coverdell Program supports forensic scientists to receive needed training to comply with certification requirements, as well as for forensic science service provider facilities to obtain and retain accreditation. It provides support to smaller jurisdictions to acquire current technology that they otherwise could not afford and to larger jurisdictions to meet continually growing demands. It supports laboratories in modernizing and maintaining needed analytical equipment and instrumentation. Moreover, the Coverdell Program provides laboratories and medical examiners/coroners with resources to battle the escalating opioid and synthetic drug epidemic.

Key Performance Metrics

From 2011-2020 Coverdell Program funds were used to:

  • Analyze more than 1.5 million backlog cases resulting in more than 300 agencies decreasing their backlog cases
  • Support more than 16,000 forensic science personnel and more than 2,000 medical examiner personnel to attend training
  • Help more than 350 agencies improve their timeliness between sample submission to a forensic laboratory and delivery of test results to a requesting office/agency
  • Enable more than 15 agencies to receive initial accreditation and more than 180 agencies/organizations to maintain accreditation between 2017-2020

GRANTEES

LIST OF GRANTEES
GRANTEE NAMESTATE
ALASKA DEPT OF PUBLIC SAFETYAK
ALABAMA DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMIC AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRSAL
CITY OF TUSCALOOSAAL
ARKANSAS CRIME LABORATORYAR
ARIZONA CRIMINAL JUSTICE COMMISSIONAZ
CITY OF PHOENIXAZ
PIMA COUNTYAZ
COUNTY OF ALAMEDACA
COUNTY OF VENTURACA
CITY OF LOS ANGELESCA
COUNTY OF LOS ANGELESCA
OFFICE OF EMERGENCY SERVICESCA
CITY OF AURORACO
COLORADO SPRINGS CITY GOVERNMENTCO
COLORADO DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETYCO
DEPARTMENT OF EMERGENCY SERVICES AND PUBLIC PROTECTIONCT
DC OFFICE OF VICTIM SERVICESDC
EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR OF DELAWAREDE
COUNTY OF BROWARDFL
CITY OF CAPE CORALFL
FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF LAW ENFORCEMENTFL
COUNTY OF PINELLASFL
COUNTY OF SARASOTAFL
COUNTY OF SEMINOLEFL
GEORGIA CRIMINAL JUSTICE COORDINATING COUNCILGA
COUNTY OF OCONEEGA
GOVERNMENT OF GUAM- DEPARTMENT OF ADMINISTRATIONGU
HAWAII DEPARTMENT OF THE ATTORNEY GENERALHI
COUNTY OF ADAID
IDAHO STATE POLICEID
COUNTY OF COOKIL
ILLINOIS CRIMINAL JUSTICE INFORMATION AUTHORITYIL
JUDICIARY COURTS OF THE STATE OF INDIANAIN
EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE STATE OF IOWAIA
COUNTY OF SEDGWICKKS
EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE STATE OF KANSASKS
COUNTY OF JOHNSONKS
JUSTICE AND PUBLIC SAFETY CABINET OF KENTUCKYKY
STATE OF LOUISIANALA
MASSACHUSETTS DEPARTMENT OF STATE POLICEMA
CITY OF WORCESTERMA
EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE STATE OF MARYLANDMD
MAINE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETYME
MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF STATE POLICEMI
MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETYMN
COUNTY OF GREENEMO
MISSOURI DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETYMO
COUNTY OF ST LOUISMO
MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETYMS
MONTANA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONSMT
CITY OF CHARLOTTENC
CITY OF DURHAMNC
COUNTY OF GUILFORDNC
NORTH CAROLINA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETYNC
COUNTY OF WAKENC
NORTH DAKOTA ATTORNEY GENERALND
DOUGLAS COUNTY NEBRASKANE
NEBRASKA STATE PATROLNE
NEW HAMPSHIRE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICENH
NEW JERSEY DEPARTMENT OF LAW & PUBLIC SAFETYNJ
COUNTY OF MIDDLESEXNJ
NEW MEXICO DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETYNM
COUNTY OF CLARKNV
CITY OF HENDERSONNV
LAS VEGAS METROPOLITAN POLICE DEPARTMENTNV
NEVADA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETYNV
COUNTY OF ERIENY
CITY OF NEW YORKNY
COUNTY OF NIAGARANY
NYS DIVISION OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE SERVICESNY
COUNTY OF HAMILTONOH
COUNTY OF CUYAHOGAOH
COUNTY OF MONTGOMERYOH
OHIO OFFICE OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE SERVICESOH
OKLAHOMA ATTORNEY GENERALOK
OREGON DEPARTMENT OF STATE POLICEOR
COUNTY OF WASHINGTONOR
COUNTY OF ALLEGHENYPA
PENNSYLVANIA COMMISSION ON CRIME AND DELINQUENCYPA
CITY OF PHILADELPHIAPA
INSTITUTO DE CIENCIAS FORENSESPR
RHODE ISLAND DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETYRI
CITY OF CHARLESTONSC
COUNTY OF CHARLESTONSC
COUNTY OF RICHLANDSC
SOUTH CAROLINA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETYSC
COUNTY OF YORKSC
ATTORNEY GENERAL’S OFFICE OF SOUTH DAKOTASD
TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATIONTN
METROPOLITAN GOVERNMENT OF NASHVILLE & DAVIDSON COUNTYTN
COUNTY OF RUTHERFORDTN
COUNTY OF DALLASTX
TEXAS OFFICE OF THE GOVERNORTX
UTAH DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETYUT
VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE SERVICESVA
GOVERNMENT OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDSVI
VERMONT DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETYVT
COUNTY OF SPOKANEWA
COUNTY OF KITTITASWA
COUNTY OF SKAGITWA
WASHINGTON STATE PATROLWA
WISCONSIN DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICEWI
WEST VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF MILITARY AFFAIRS AND PUBLIC SAFETYWV
ATTORNEY GENERAL OF WYOMINGWY
LARAMIE COUNTY, WYOMINGWY

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…...

Wrongful Convictions and DNA Exonerations: Understanding the Role of Forensic Science

This article presents a review of erroneous convictions that involved forensic science which can help identify critical lessons for forensic scientists as they perform testing, interpret results, render conclusions, and testify in court. Continue reading…...

Wrongful Convictions and Claims of False or Misleading Forensic Evidence

This study examined case factors associated with wrongful convictions classified by the National Registry of Exonerations. Continue reading…...
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Multi-Media

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…...

Toxicology: Instrumentation, Methodology, and Workflows

ASCLD Train the Directors Series: This presentation discusses advances and the logistics of transitioning from the legacy workflows of multiple serial analyses to parallel LC/MS/MS and QTOF methods. Key points include budgeting, procurement of equipment, available grant funding, validation, data systems integrations, and methods to transition to new technology. Continue reading…...

The National Registry of Exonerations

The Registry provides detailed information about every known exoneration in the United States since 1989—cases in which a person was wrongly convicted of a crime and later cleared of all the charges based on new evidence of innocence. Continue reading…...
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Protocols

DOJ Interim Policy Forensic Genetic Genealogical DNA Analysis and Searching

The purpose of this interim policy is to promote the reasoned exercise of investigative, scientific, and prosecutorial discretion in cases that involve forensic genetic genealogical DNA analysis and searching (‘FGGS’). (Description taken directly from the policy document) Continue reading…...
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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…...

The City of Charlotte’s Coverdell funds help support evidence documentation that led to a U.S. Postal Worker being indicted for stealing business checks worth over $1.9 million

In 2023, the DCS5 Fingerprint Enhancement System, which was funded by the City of Charlotte’s Coverdell award, was used to document processed evidence in a case involving financial crimes and fraud. The case involved 1.9 million USD in checks that were stolen and fraudulently deposited. A single fingerprint impression developed...

Idaho State Police Forensic Services uses Coverdell funding to develop a statewide Question Documents Program and maintain Breath Alcohol Section accreditation

The Idaho State Police Forensic Services is using Coverdell funding to ramp up a statewide Question Documents Program. This Program will also service laboratories throughout the country to help address the decreasing availability of Question Documents examination. The Idaho State Police Forensic Service also employed a Coverdell–funded employee to conduct...
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Upcoming Events

No 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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