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DNA Testing

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DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) is a molecule found in the nuclei of cells that determines our individual characteristics. Drawing blood is the most common method used to collect DNA samples from offenders, although the same DNA is in saliva, semen and hair.

DNA isolated from blood, hair, skin cells, or other genetic evidence left at the scene of a crime can be compared with the DNA of a criminal suspect to determine guilt or innocence.

The federal DNA Analysis Backlog Elimination Act of 2000, signed into law on December 19, 2000, requires the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency (CSOSA) to collect DNA samples from each individual under the supervision of the Agency who is on supervised release, parole, or probation who is, or has been, convicted of a qualifying District of Columbia offense.

If an offender does not comply with CSOSA's direction for DNA collection, he or she may be convicted of a Class A federal misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $100,000 and/or imprisonment for up to one year.

CSOSA has implemented a state of the DNA collection chain of custody procedure that governs how DNA samples are collected and secured. Collected samples are subsequently sent to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for analysis. The results of this analysis are recorded in the FBI's Combined DNA Index System (CODIS). The permitted uses of such samples or results are specified in the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (42 United States code 141132(b)(3)).

The FBI CODIS system blends forensic science and computer technology into an effective tool for solving violent crimes. CODIS enables federal, state, and local crime labs to exchange and compare DNA profiles electronically, thereby linking crimes to each other and to convicted offenders. CODIS' Convicted Offender index contains DNA profiles of individuals convicted of felony sex offenses (and other violent crimes).



Adobe Acrobat PDF format Fact Sheet: DNA Collection

Offender DNA Collection (11/26/2012,

DNA Analysis Backlog Elimination Act of 2000

Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994

Qualifying District of Columbia Offenses

Community Supervision Services

Employment Information

As a Federal agency with a distinctly local mission, CSOSA employees perform challenging work that directly affects public safety in the District of Columbia's neighborhoods.