TBI outsources sexual assault kits to reduce turnaround time

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has begun outsourcing sexual assault kits.


According to a news release from the TBI, a set of 550 kits were flown to Florida to be analyzed by DNA Labs International.

The set included 250 from the Jackson Crime Laboratory, 250 from Knoxville and 50 from Nashville.

With this agreement, DLI will provide analysis and courtroom testimony. However, TBI scientists will still review the results of analysis for each kit, and if warranted, enter resulting DNA profiles into the Combined DNA Index System.

“With the help of the Governor’s administration and the Tennessee General Assembly, we’re continuing to take steps to improve our Forensic Services Division,” said TBI Director David Rausch. “This outsourcing project helps us take an immediate step, as we continue to discuss longer-term fixes. We’re hopeful the General Assembly will approve budget enhancements called for in Governor Lee’s plan, which we believe addresses key staffing and resource needs to better position the Bureau for a bright future.”

This is all in effort to reduce turnaround times for sexual assault kits, and is funded from a $1.5 million federal grant funding for the project through the Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration’s Office of Criminal Justice Programs.

If more grant money becomes available by the end of the year, the TBI says they plant to submit up to 1,000 kits for private analysis, at a rate of $2,155 per kit.

You can find additional photos and the full news release from the TBI here.

Categories: Local News, News, Tennessee News