Written July, 2004
DNA Samples. Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) is the genetic
material contained in most living organisms, including human beings, that
controls the production of substances needed for the organisms’ development
and life activities. The genetic information contained in DNA can be used, like
a chemical fingerprint, to identify and differentiate between individuals. Using
DNA evidence, law enforcement agencies and district attorneys have been
able to effectively identify, arrest and convict criminals, as well as exonerate
persons wrongly accused or convicted of a crime.
Under current law, any person convicted of a serious
felony offense is required to provide to law enforcement a blood sample from
which DNA is obtained. The samples are collected by the California Department of
Corrections (CDC), the Department of the Youth Authority (Youth Authority), and
local jails, and then submitted to the California Department of Justice (DOJ).
The DOJ laboratory analyzes the samples and stores the DNA profiles of convicted
felons in a statewide DNA databank. The DNA profiles are also submitted by DOJ
to the Combined DNA Index System, a national repository maintained by the
Federal Bureau of Investigation. The information in the DNA databank is compared
to evidence collected from crime scenes for possible matches.
Fines. Persons convicted of certain crimes, including violations of
traffic laws, may be ordered by the court to pay a fine. The total fine
typically consists of a “base fine” which goes entirely to local government
and a “penalty assessment” which is shared by the state and local
governments. The latter is often referred to as a “criminal penalty.” The
state and local governments use the revenue to support a variety of programs and
This measure makes the following changes to current law.
DNA Collection. This measure expands the collection of DNA to include
all convicted felons and some nonfelons, as well as individuals arrested for
certain offenses. Figure 1 lists the individuals who would be required to
provide DNA samples under this measure.
Expanded DNA Collection Categories
Upon Enactment of Measure
Adults and juveniles convicted of any felony
Adults and juveniles convicted of any sex offense
Adults arrested for or charged with felony sex
offenses, murder or
Additionally, Starting in 2009
Adults arrested for or charged with any
The expanded list of qualifying offenses would be
retroactive regardless of when the person was convicted (adults) or adjudicated
(juveniles). As a result, DNA would be obtained from adults and juveniles
already serving time in correctional facilities as well as those who are on
parole or probation for these offenses.
Requires Timely Collection and
Analysis of Samples. Immediately following either arrest or conviction,
state or local law enforcement personnel would be required to collect a sample
of inner cheek cells of the mouth (known as a “buccal swab” sample). This
sample would be in addition to the right thumbprint and full palm print
impression of each hand required by current law. Also, state and local law
enforcement would continue to have the authority to collect blood samples upon
request by DOJ.
The measure requires DOJ to
contract with public or private laboratories to process samples that it has not
analyzed within six months of receipt. The DOJ and CDC would be required to publish
and place on their Web sites a quarterly progress report on the processing of
Additional Funding. This measure raises existing criminal penalties to
fund the proposed expansion of DNA collection. Specifically, an additional $1
would be levied for every $10 in penalties, with revenues shared by the state
and local governments. The state would receive 70 percent of the revenue in
the first two years, 50 percent in the third year, and 25 percent
annually thereafter. Local government would receive the difference to support
DNA sample collection, as well as other related activities such as analysis,
tracking, and processing of crime scene samples.
a New Crime. This measure makes it a felony offense punishable by 2, 3,
or 4 years in prison for a person required to submit a sample or print to tamper
(or attempt to tamper) with a DNA sample, or thumb or palm print impression.
Government. This measure would result in net state costs of potentially
several million dollars initially, increasing to nearly $20 million
annually when costs are fully realized in 2009‑10. This estimate primarily
reflects the costs of analyzing additional DNA samples, partially offset by new
revenues proposed by the measure. Specifically, CDC and the Youth Authority
would require additional state resources to collect DNA from prisoners and wards
currently in custody, as well as parolees, for crimes covered by the measure. In
addition, DOJ would incur costs to hire and train staff, purchase equipment and
supplies, acquire additional laboratory space, and contract with public or
private labs for the processing of DNA samples.
The measure requires a General Fund loan of $7 million
to DOJ for the implementation of its provisions. This loan would be repaid with
interest, no later than four years after it is made with revenue generated from
the increased penalty assessments.
Government. This measure would likely result in no net costs to local
governments on a statewide basis. Local law enforcement agencies would require
staff and training to collect additional DNA samples. These costs—estimated to
be several millions of dollars initially increasing to less than $8 million
annually beginning in 2008-09—would likely be more than fully offset by the
local share of penalty revenues generated under the measure. Local penalty
revenue above the amount required to support the costs of DNA collection would
be used for other related activities, such as analysis of DNA evidence collected
from crime scenes.
Effects on State and Local Government. This measure could result in
other unknown fiscal effects on state and local governments. To the extent that
expanded DNA collection results in increased investigations and prosecutions,
and higher rates of incarceration, there would be unknown increased costs to
state and local governments. It may also lead to unknown state and local savings
by identifying individuals who, having been falsely accused and imprisoned,
would be released from incarceration.
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