information provided by the Illinois State Police
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (February 21, 2020) – As a new measure of transparency and accountability, the Illinois State Police Forensic Services Command unveiled to the public a forensics dashboard showing the number of case assignments and average completion times.
The dashboard is updated monthly and includes the number of case assignments completed by each section of the lab, the average number of days it took to complete those assignments, and the number of assignments pending completion in each section—commonly known as backlog.
“We want to provide accountability and transparency to victims, law enforcement, prosecutors and the general public to assure them that we are committed to continued improvement in our laboratory system,” said ISP Director Brendan Kelly. “Addressing the backlog is a top priority so that justice is never waiting on forensics whether it’s an unsolved cold case, a hot investigation, a case ready for trial, or post-conviction claims of innocence.”
The dashboard shows all the forensic disciplines including trace chemistry, footwear and tire tracks, fingerprints, drug chemistry, toxicology, firearms, and biology/DNA. It also shows the average number of days to complete testing and the current backlog of cases.
The ISP FSC has implemented a laboratory information management system, conducted an independent audit and added automated processes in an effort to improve turnaround times. Last month, ISP forensic scientists completed 6,034 assignments, including 1,325 biology/DNA assignments. Biology/DNA currently has an average turnaround time of 193 days.
The Illinois State Police Forensic laboratory system is one of the largest in the country, the only system in the nation that serves both an entire state and a massive metropolis like Chicago, providing forensic support for all police departments in Illinois.
Access to the dashboard can be found here: https://www.isp.state.il.us/forensics/statsdashboard.cfm