WASHINGTON, Aug. 28, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today the Office of Justice Programs' National Institute of Justice (NIJ) announced a $423,528 grant award to the University of South Florida (USF) to assist in the investigation of missing and unidentified children (ages 6-18 years) who died under unexplained circumstances and were buried in unmarked graves at the former Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys in Marianna, Fla.
The objectives of this grant are to perform DNA testing and conduct forensic anthropological examinations of human remains for identification. The University of North Texas Center for Human Identification will perform all of the DNA analyses, compare the samples and enter that data into the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) and the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs).
The project lead at USF is Dr. Erin Kimmerle. Dr. Kimmerle's research is in the areas of international human rights and forensic anthropology. She created the Forensic Anthropology Laboratory at USF and initiated the Tampa Bay Cold Case Project in which more than 80 local unsolved cases are being reanalyzed for human identification, including the application of newer methods such as 3D digitizing, isotope sampling and facial reconstructions.
The grant was awarded through NIJ's 2013 competitive funding solicitation, "Using DNA Technology to Identify the Missing." In recent years, newer DNA technologies have become available thanks in part to NIJ-funded research and development, which has contributed to the ability of crime laboratories to successfully analyze aged, degraded and compromised biological evidence.
The Office of Justice Programs (OJP), headed by Assistant Attorney General Karol V. Mason, provides federal leadership in developing the nation's capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice, and assist victims. OJP has six components: the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; the Office for Victims of Crime; and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking. More information about OJP can be found at http://www.ojp.gov.
SOURCE Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs