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Paul Coverdell

Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grant Program [CFDA # 16.742]

GRANT OVERVIEW:
The Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grants Program was developed to help improve the quality and timeliness of forensic science and medical examiner services. Among other things, funds may be used to eliminate a backlog in the analysis of forensic evidence and to train and employ forensic laboratory personnel, as needed, to eliminate such a backlog. Recipients of this funding, as stated by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), must use the grant for one or more of the following three purposes:

  • To carry out all or a substantial part of a program intended to improve the quality and timeliness of forensic science or medical examiner 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;
  • 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;
  • To train, assist and employ forensic laboratory personnel as needed to eliminate such a backlog.

The Coverdell program is authorized by Title I of the Omnibus Safe Streets and Crime Control Act of 1968. Part BB, codified at 42 U.S.C. � 3797j-3797o (the Coverdell law).
 

CJCC PRIORITIES/MAIN OBJECTIVES:
The goal of the Paul Coverdell program is to improve the quality, timeliness, and credibility of forensic science and medical examiner services for criminal justice purposes. The main objectives for the Paul Coverdell awards are:

  • Change in the number of days between submission of a sample to a forensic science laboratory and delivery of test results to a requesting office or agency.
  • The number of backlogged forensic cases analyzed with Paul Coverdell funds, if applicable to the grant.
  • The number of forensic science or medical examiner personnel who completed appropriate training or educational opportunities with Paul Coverdell funds, if applicable to the grant.

The expected results of Coverdell grants should be a demonstrated improvement over current operations in the quality and/or timeliness of forensic science or medical examiner services provided in the State of Georgia, including services provided by laboratories operated by the State and services provided by laboratories operated by units of local government should be a demonstrated improvement over current operations in the quality and/or timeliness of forensic science or medical examiner services provided by the local jurisdiction.
 

ELIGIBLE APPLICANTS :
Eligible applicants are limited to state agencies and units of local government.

All applicants for Coverdell grants whether state agencies or units of local government must have developed a plan for forensic science laboratories that is designed to improve the quality and timeliness of forensic science or medical examiner services, and must specifically describe the manner in which grant funds will be used to carry out that plan. CJCC is expected to consider the needs of laboratories operated by units of local government as well as those operated by the State.

Any forensic laboratory, forensic laboratory system, medical examiner's office, or coroner's office that will receive any portion of a Coverdell grant must use generally accepted laboratory practices and procedures as established by accrediting organizations or appropriate certifying bodies.

Coverdell law (at 42 U.S.C. � 3797k(4)) requires that, to request a grant, each applicant must also be able to certify with respect to any forensic laboratory system, medical examiner's office, coroner's office, law enforcement storage facility, or medical facility that will receive any portion of the grant the following:

  • A certification and description regarding a plan for forensic science laboratories.
  • A certification regarding use of generally accepted laboratory practices.
  • A certification and description regarding costs of new facilities.
  • A certification regarding external investigations into allegations of serious negligence or misconduct.