Media Center

DNA Backlog Gone, Attorney General Van Hollen Reports to the Governor and the Legislature


MADISON - Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen delivered a letter to Governor Doyle and the Wisconsin Legislature today informing them that there is no longer a backlog of DNA cases at the Wisconsin State Crime Laboratories.  The elimination of the backlog is the result of increased per analyst productivity combined with increased personnel that were authorized in the 2007 budget repair bill.  As of the end of the first quarter in 2010, the crime lab has fewer pending cases than were received and worked in the month of March.  Meeting the goal set forth in Van Hollen's 2007 Report to the legislature (available at bottom of the page), all DNA cases are being assigned and actively worked on within 30 days of receipt, and absent unique circumstances, all analysis is performed and reports are complete within 60 days of receipt.


Van Hollen's letter details the development and implementation of his plan.  He notes that his recommended plan, authorized by the legislature, was the most efficient way to eliminate the backlog.  The letter describes increased productivity at the state crime laboratories, noting that in 2009, the State Crime Laboratories worked almost four times as many DNA cases as it had prior to the plan's implementation.  Over the first quarter of this year, the State Crime Laboratories have worked more DNA cases than were worked in all of 2006. 


Van Hollen noted that he will continue to closely monitor case submissions and productivity to continue to make DNA analysis available to law enforcement officers in a timely fashion so that they may preserve public safety and make better use of scarce local and state resources 


Van Hollen thanked the Governor and the legislature for their efforts, as well, noting that without new personnel, the backlog may be as great as three times what it was when he came into office.


"I am confident that our ability to work together and DOJ's hard work eliminating the backlog has led to more offenders being identified and held accountable, has played a role in preventing crime that might have otherwise occurred, has saved significant resources for local governments, and has made Wisconsin a safer place to live and work," Van Hollen wrote. 


A copy of a graphic depicting the number of pending DNA cases compared with monthly productivity of cases worked, and Van Hollen's letter are available at: