Wisconsin crime labs’ turnaround times slowed last year | Health & Fitness

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin crime labs took longer to deliver test results last year in several disciplines, as analysts continued to face additional challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and spent more time testifying in court. than the previous one. year, according to a state Justice Department report released Thursday.

The average turnaround time to develop a DNA profile jumped from three months to four; the time to analyze evidence of the presence of an illegal drug increased from 44 to 61 days; and the time to test bodily fluids or tissues for alcohol or drugs increased from 39 to 48 days, according to the department’s annual laboratory performance report.

The only areas where response times improved were ballistics, tool marks, and shoe analysis. The labs shaved nearly 100 days off their ballistic turnaround time, from 247 days in 2020 to 157 days last year, even though they handled 14 fewer cases. The time for toolmark analysis was reduced from 1,164 days to 763. However, the number of toolmark cases was reduced from 23 to seven. Turnaround time for shoe testing was reduced from 140 days to 12, with labs handling two fewer cases than in 2020.

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Delays have plagued crime labs across the country for years, fueled largely by prosecutors and police flooding labs with evidence submissions in hopes of developing DNA profiles to determine the identities of suspects and build airtight cases.

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