Dept. of Justice: Attorney General Kaul releases 2022 Annual Crime Lab Report

MADISON, Wis. – Attorney General Josh Kaul today released the 2022 Annual Report for the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) Division of Forensic Sciences (DFS) crime laboratories.

“The team at the Wisconsin State Crime Laboratories continues to advance Wisconsin DOJ’s mission of protecting the public and ensuring that justice is done,” said Attorney General Josh Kaul. “From helping solve decades-old cases, to keeping up with developments in forensic science, to processing thousands of cases, the crime lab is a vital part of the criminal justice system in Wisconsin.”

2022 annual report:

  • The annual report now includes a comparison of Wisconsin’s median turnaround times with Project Foresight, a research initiative involving data from laboratories worldwide, which shows DFS labs are comparable or better than the international medians in 5 of 8 areas. More information about Project Foresight can be found here.
  • DNA analysis median turnaround times have dropped below pre-pandemic levels, as DFS continues to work through submissions of evidence from court cases that accumulated during the pandemic.
  • The Wisconsin Identity Resolution team (WiscIR), a collaboration of DFS, Division of Criminal Investigation and local law enforcement to solve unresolved cases, resulted in the conviction of two decades-old homicide cases.
  • DFS made important investments in the future of the crime labs, aided by the significant investment of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds by Governor Evers. DFS purchased new instrumentation to better detect new, complicated synthetic drugs, prepared to break ground on a new southeastern Wisconsin crime lab facility, and procured a more robust Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) to increase productivity and better analyze DFS data.

About DFS

DFS was established as an independent division in 2019, though the Wisconsin State Crime Laboratory was originally established in 1947. DFS employs over 190 people including forensic scientists, technicians, evidence specialists, and crime scene response professionals.  These dedicated professionals provide impartial forensic analysis in the following areas of science: toxicology, drug identification, biology/DNA analysis, DNA database, trace evidence analysis, firearms examination, toolmark analysis, latent print examination, footwear analysis, ten print comparison, and forensic imaging and video analysis.

DFS crime laboratories—located in Madison, Milwaukee, and Wausau—are the only full-service forensic science laboratory system in Wisconsin. DFS is not a diagnostic laboratory system; the circumstances of each case submitted to DFS are unique. The needs of the submitting agency, the type of crime and impact on public safety as well as court/trial demands are considered for each case.

DFS provides unbiased scientific testing and analysis of evidence for every community in Wisconsin and staffs on-call Crime Scene Response Units, located at each laboratory, to assist law enforcement at major crime scenes by processing the crime scene and maintaining evidence integrity.

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