GBI DNA database continues to grow
The following press release was issued by the Georgia Department of Investigation:
The DNA Database at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) crime lab or CODIS (Combined DNA Index System) has reached over 3,500 hits to unsolved cases. The total number of hits is now 3,555.
It took 10 years for the DNA database to reach 1,000 hits in August 2008. It only took two more years to reach the 2,000 hit number. Over the last three years, the lab is averaging 500 hits per year.
GBI Director Vernon Keenan stated, "DNA is an important tool used by law enforcement to solve cases and by prosecutors to convict offenders. As the DNA database increases, more criminals will be identified and brought to justice." The CODIS program continues to solve cold cases dating back as far as 1986. This year, the CODIS unit aided in the "Maintenance Man" rapes which occurred in the late 1980's across several metro Atlanta counties.
The GBI began DNA testing in 1991 and implemented CODIS in 1998. At that time under state law, only those convicted and incarcerated for sex offenses were included in the database. For the next two years, the database solved 13 rapes and other sexual crimes by linking evidence to an incarcerated sex offender. The current success of the program stemmed from the expansion of the offender law by the Georgia legislature in 2000 to include all incarcerated convicted felons. The majority of DNA hits have been for burglary (1,661) and rape (948) cases while the primary crimes these offenders were incarcerated for are drug, burglary, or robbery related.
In 2007, the legislature expanded the DNA database statute to include certain felony probationers. There have been 409 DNA cases solved by hits to probationers including 10 homicides, 11 armed robberies, 102 sexual assaults, and 279 property crimes. Out of the 609 Georgia offenders which have matched cases in other states, 83 of those were from probationers.
Currently, the GBI DNA database contains 280,101 profiles. Of that total, 265,576 are offender/probationer profiles and 14,479 are forensic or evidence samples.