Justice Department Holds Annual Conference on Criminal Justice Research

Jun 14, 2010, 09:00 ET from The Office of Justice Programs

Special Report "Making Sense of DNA Backlog – Myths vs. Reality" Released

WASHINGTON, June 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Office of Justice Programs' (OJP) National Institute of Justice (NIJ) is hosting its annual conference today through Wednesday, June 16, in Arlington, Va.  The event serves as a national forum, bringing together criminal and juvenile justice scholars, policy makers, and practitioners at the local, state, and federal levels to discuss research, technology, and programs affecting criminal justice policy and practice.

"More than any other conference in the field, the NIJ Conference focuses on the importance of integrating science into every facet of criminal and juvenile justice," said OJP Assistant Attorney General, Laurie O. Robinson.  "Evidence-based practices are critical to our mission, helping to construct a foundation on which we can build strong, credible policies. With NIJ leading the way, we're supporting cutting-edge research and exciting advances in public safety technology."

NIJ's Acting Director, Kristina Rose, provided opening remarks at the conference, and announced the release of NIJ's latest special report, Making Sense of DNA Backlogs – Myths vs. Reality.  The demand for DNA analysis is enormous and only continues to grow as awareness of this important forensic tool increases. This special report examines the myths and realities of DNA backlogs in crime laboratories, and explains that backlogs are not a onetime event.  The report highlights a clear pattern: new cases received by DNA laboratories continue to outpace their capacity, leading to persistent backlogs.  This new report will help policymakers and practitioners better understand the challenges of analyzing large volumes of DNA evidence.  The special report is available at www.ojp.gov/nij.

Today's keynote speaker is Laurence Tribe, Senior Counselor for the Department of Justice's Access to Justice Initiative.  Paula Zahn, host of On the Case with Paula Zahn, provides lunchtime remarks on Wednesday, June, 16.

Other speakers and panels will focus on building safer communities, policing, forensic science policy issues, forensic science technical issues, corrections, courts and sentencing, geography and crime, and violence and victimization. A full listing of speakers and panels at the conference is available at http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/nij/events/nij_conference/.

The Office of Justice Programs (OJP), headed by Assistant Attorney General Laurie O. Robinson, provides federal leadership in developing the nation's capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice, and assist victims.  OJP has seven 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; the Community Capacity Development Office, and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking.  More information about OJP can be found at http://www.ojp.gov.

* OJP and its component agencies' press releases are available for use without restriction.


SOURCE The Office of Justice Programs