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Issue Position: State Crime Labs

Issue Position

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When J.B. Van Hollen took office, the backlog of DNA evidence in the was a tremendous problem. For every two cases received, one was processed and the other was added to the backlog.

Attorney General Van Hollen believed it was unacceptable to let evidence collect dust while criminals remained at large. Improving the performance of the Crime Labs was the top priority for the Department of Justice in helping to fight crime in Wisconsin.

Van Hollen immediately undertook a thorough analysis of the DNA backlog. Upon completion of this review, the Attorney General worked with the legislature and governor to allocate the appropriate resources to address the increasing problem.

Attorney General Van Hollen also worked closely with local law enforcement to significantly increase efficiencies. When Van Hollen took office, the state crime labs completed work on less than 100 DNA cases per month. In the first few months of 2010, the Crime Labs were averaging over 500 cases per month.

Attorney General Van Hollen pledged to eliminate the backlog by 2010 - he not only delivered his promise, but did it ahead of schedule.

Crime Lab quick facts under Attorney General Van Hollen:

* Delivered campaign pledge to eliminate the backlog of DNA evidence at the State Crime Labs
* The State Crime Labs worked 4,011 DNA casesin 2008 compared to 1,983 cases in 2007 - a 102% increase
* Improved DNA case work efficiency by 72% in first full year (2007)


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