Missouri’s justice system is slowed because one of the two certified crime labs in the state is chronically understaffed and does not pay enough to keep workers. The state crime lab run by the Highway Patrol processes samples for methamphetamine prosecutions, DNA, toxicology tests, and other evidence. In some cases, it takes a year to process the evidence and get results back to the counties for trials. Assistant director Bill Marbaker says the lab is asking for nine new employees for its lab in Jefferson City and its satellite and regional laboratories in nine other cities. He says the addtion of those nine people will not eliminate the backload but will, as he puts it, reduce it to acceptable levels. The $26,000 salaries paid to beginning scientists at the lab also are a problem. Marbaker says the lab now has 41 scientists. Twenty-two of those positions have turned over within the past three years.
You are here: / / Crime Lab Shortage Makes Wheels Of Justice Turn Slowly