History of Maryland's DNA Database

Items used in DNA evidence collection

Maryland's Statewide DNA Database was established in 1994 when a law was passed requiring all convicted sex offenders to submit DNA samples. The law tasked the Maryland State Police Forensic Sciences Division (MSP-FSD) with collection of the samples and administration of the database. MSP-FSD operates in accordance with the Federal Bureau of Investigation's quality assurance standards in order to permit Maryland to upload samples to the national level of CODIS.

How the Statewide DNA Database works

Maryland's Statewide DNA Database consists of two indices, the Forensic Profile Index and the Convicted Offender/Arrestee Profile Index.

Acceptable DNA profiles from evidence are entered into the Forensic Index by accredited Maryland crime laboratories conducting DNA testing: MSP-FSD, Baltimore City Crime Laboratory, Baltimore County Forensic Services Section, Anne Arundel County Crime Laboratory, Montgomery County Crime Laboratory, and Prince George's County Forensic Services Division. These labs enter evidentiary profiles into the first level of CODIS, or LDIS. The local information is then uploaded to the State level of CODIS (or SDIS). MSP-FSD is responsible for uploading all evidentiary profiles as well as the convicted offender and arrestee profiles to the national level of CODIS (or NDIS). Searching evidence profiles against convicted offender and arrestee profiles occurs at the State and national levels.

Maryland's expanding DNA law

Fingerprint kits

In 1999, Maryland's law was expanded to include convicted offenders of violent crimes. In 2002, the law was again expanded to all felony convictions, including some misdemeanor crimes. MSP-FSD, with the cooperation of the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, Sheriff's offices, county detention centers, and circuit courthouses, has been processing the growing volume of samples required by Maryland's expanding DNA law and reducing the backlog of uncollected convicted offender samples.

In December 2007, with the strong support of the O'Malley Administration, MSP-FSD expanded its staff, added new technologies, and eliminated the backlog of over 24,000 unanalyzed samples that had existed as of January 2007.

Providing investigative leads for unsolved cases

In November 1998, the first CODIS hit in Maryland linked two unsolved Prince George's County cases. In August 2000, the first NDIS hit from Maryland was made between an unsolved 1989 Anne Arundel County sexual assault case and an Illinois offender. December 2000 was the first hit to a Maryland offender, an unsolved FBI (Forestville, MD) rape case. The hits continue to grow exponentially. In August 2006, the 500th hit was reported. In July 8, 2008, the 1000th hit was reported.

As of January 1, 2009, Maryland's DNA law expanded to include those individuals arrested of crimes of violence and burglaries with the intention that crucial DNA hits will be identified earlier, crimes will be solved, and more crimes will be prevented.

Office of the Governor