Idaho crime labs focus on cutting down backlogs

Posted at 9:13 AM, Jul 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-18 11:13:22-04

BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- The state's crime labs are working to expedite the processing of forensic evidence used in court cases in response to criticism about rape kit backlogs and testing delays.

Their efforts are being supported with funding approved by the Legislature. Lawmakers approved $250,000 this year for the state's forensic labs in Boise, Pocatello and Coeur d'Alene.  The funds will primarily go toward hiring and retaining scientists.
Boise lab director Matthew Gamette told the Idaho Statesman it'll take at least a year to train the new employees.
Gamette also says new protocols have been implemented to ensure certain tests are completed and the results are returned to investigating agencies on deadline.
The Boise lab aims to complete individual DNA tests within 30 days, compared to its average 242-day delay.