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GBI touts 6,000 DNA-crime connection matches

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is celebrating its 6,000th match in a system that allows law enforcement officials to test DNA matches in criminal investigations.

The Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) system, which contains DNA profiles from evidence collected in criminal investigations and from convicted offenders, recorded its 6000th state offender hit last week. The profiles often help law enforcement officials solve crimes by using information on convicted felons and felony probationers, as permitted under Georgia law (O.C.G.A. 35-3-160. )

The database allows for the comparison of DNA profiles from casework samples to those offenders in the Georgia file.  CODIS averages 500 offender matches per year.

The GBI began DNA testing in 1991.  In 1994, the Georgia legislature authorized DNA collection from convicted sex offenders.  Four years later in 1998, the GBI Crime lab implemented CODIS into its operation.  The current success of the program stemmed from the expansion of the offender law by the legislature in 2000 to include all incarcerated convicted felons.  In 2005, Georgia laws were amended to include inmates serving extended sentences.  Subsequently in 2007, the legislature expanded the DNA database statute to include certain felony probationers.

Currently, the GBI DNA database contains 347,145 DNA profiles. Of that total, 324,864 are offender/probationer profiles.