Alabama Forensic Sciences Get Funding Boost

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OPELIKA - The head of Alabama's crime laboratories says two million dollars in federal grants awarded this week will help the agency begin reducing a backlog of work that has plagued prosecutors and victims for years.

After a decade without an increase in funding from the state operating budget, the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences has been awarded four federal grants this week that should reduce casework backlogs in the department's DNA and toxicology programs. Forensic Sciences Director Taylor Noggle says the grants will let the department purchase additional computers for its DNA section and instruments for the DNA and toxicology programs. Money also will go toward a program to take DNA samples from prisoners and enter the information into an index.

The program has helped solve 40 percent of the state's unsolved cases since it began in 1994.