CODIS (Combined DNA Index System) is an electronic database of DNA profiles that is maintained by the FBI. To date, there are more than 56,200 individuals DNA that have been entered into the South Dakota DNA database. This DNA database is an investigative tool for South Dakota law enforcement. To date, over 600 criminal investigations have been aided by database hits. There are ~ 15,000,000 samples at NDIS. Nationally, over 275,000 investigations have been aided by CODIS.
This DNA database is comprised of the following categories of DNA records:
- Offenders - DNA profiles of persons convicted and/or arrested of crimes
- Forensic - DNA profiles from samples recovered from crime scenes
- Unidentified Human (Remains) - DNA profiles from samples recovered from unidentified human remains
- Missing person
- Relatives of Missing Persons - DNA profiles from samples voluntarily contributed from relatives of missing persons
Every state in the nation participates in the National DNA Index System (NDIS). Each state's collection law differs as to arrestees/convicted and the qualifying offenses. Offender DNA profiles are entered into the DNA database. Upon entry into CODIS a DNA profile may be compared to DNA profiles obtained from Crime Laboratories across the country for potential matches. This exchange of information allows a DNA profile from one crime scene to be linked to a separate crime scene or an offender in a different jurisdiction. Therefore, law enforcement officers have the ability to identify suspects when no prior suspect exists.
When a DNA match is found in CODIS and it provides information that the case officer previously did not know, it is called a hit. When a CODIS hit occurs, a CODIS match report may be issued to the agency or agencies involved. Two types of CODIS match reports are the Forensic hit report and the Offender hit report. A forensic hit report is issued when a DNA profile from a crime scene matches a DNA profile obtained from a separate crime scene. This report will contain the information regarding the agency and potentially the investigator who was in charge of the case. An Offender hit report is issued when a DNA profile from a crime scene matches a DNA profile obtained from a convicted offender. The offender hit report will contain the offenders name and information such as date of birth, social security number and any alias information.
Currently the SDFL outsources all DNA offender testing for the database. The SDFL is currently in validation to perform this testing in-house.
The forensic lab provides the Department of Corrections, regional jails, and law enforcement with directions and material used in collecting biological samples, cheek (buccal) swabs, from felony adult arrestees and adjudicated juveniles who have committed qualifying offenses that will be tested for DNA and incorporated in the Offender DNA Index.