Legislative Analyst's Office

Analysis of the 2002-03 Budget Bill

Department of Justice (0820)

The Department of Justice (DOJ) operates 11 criminalistic laboratories throughout the state. The laboratories provide analysis of physical evidence and controlled substances and, when requested, assist local law enforcement agencies in processing and analyzing crime scenes (including clandestine drug laboratories). The department also operates a statewide DNA analysis laboratory in Berkeley and is constructing a DNA laboratory in Richmond.

No Justification for New DNA Laboratory

We recommend the Legislature delete $5 million for site acquisition to construct a new statewide DNA analysis laboratory because insufficient information has been provided to justify the request. (Delete Item 0820-301-0001 [1].)

The 2002-03 Governor's Budget includes $5 million from the General Fund for site acquisition to construct a new state DNA laboratory for the department. A $2 million General Fund appropriation was provided in the 2001-02 Budget Act for site searches, studies, and planning activities for this same purpose.

At the time this analysis was prepared, no detailed information was available regarding the location, cost, schedule, or scope of work for the proposal. In addition, there is no information regarding workload, or why the existing Berkeley laboratory and newly constructed Richmond laboratory would be insufficient for the department. Given the lack of information on this project, we recommend the Legislature delete $5 million under Item 0820-301-0001 (1).

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