Victim advocates and other criminal justice professionals who work with crime victims increasingly encounter cases that involve the use of DNA evidence. Recent advances in DNA analysis and related technologies allow convicts to request that their DNA be tested. Many state laws explicitly give this right.
Victim service providers and other professionals may be called upon to help victims understand the post-conviction testing and exoneration process, understand their rights, and find support.
This webpage includes resources designed to give those professionals the knowledge they need to provide informed and sensitive guidance in their work with survivors in such cases.
Follow the DNA Resource Center on Twitter for updates, DNA news, and legislative updates.
DNA Testing: What You Should Know
Informational brochure for survivors developed by the Dallas District Attorney's Office.
Informative Exoneration Brochure
DNA Training Webinars
The DNA Resource Center offers a number of training opportunities throughout the year. Understanding that budgets are often tight, the National Center gathers experts from across the country to present in webinar format. Two such webinars are available below.
Supporting Survivors After an Exoneration
July 7, 2011
Monica Urbaniak, MS, LMFT-S, Sexual Assault Therapist, Dallas Area Rape Crisis Center, speaks about the profound impact of DNA exonerations and wrongful convictions on survivors of crime. Our presenter will share her experience working with survivors in cases that result in DNA (and other) exonerations and provide tips and tools for providing support throughout the post-conviction and exoneration process.
Victims' Rights and Services During Post: Conviction and Exoneration Proceedings
August 25, 2010
This webinar will increase the capacity of victim service providers and allied professionals to support victims in post-conviction and DNA exoneration proceedings. Participants will learn about the profound impact of exonerations on survivors.Meg Garvin, Executive Director, National Crime Victim Law Institute and Chris Jenkins, Victim Witness Coordinator, Dallas County District Attorney's Office, discuss what those who work with victims need to know about victims' needs and services and which victims' rights could apply in post-conviction DNA testing cases.
Profiles in DNA
An interview with Debbie Jones, an advocate and sexual assault survivor who lives in Richardson, Texas.
"Advocates need to know that every exoneration case and every victim is unique. Advocates need to stay involved and be determined to help victims get what they need to cope. Some victims need to learn new information gradually because of the intense pain it can cause. The important thing to remember is: that is the victim's choice, and we have to respect that choice."
DNA From Arrestees Solves Crime, Saves Lives, AG Cooper Tells National Gathering Of State Legislators
RALEIGH, N.C. : August 8, 2012 - Taking DNA samples upon arrest helps solve and prevent crime, brings peace of mind to victims, and makes communities safer, Attorney General Roy Cooper told state legislators from across the country today.
“DNA from arrestees pinpoints suspects more quickly, gets predators off the streets sooner, and clears suspects who have been wrongly accused,” Cooper told legislators at a gathering in Chicago hosted by DNA Saves, an advocacy group.
Follow the DNA Resource Center on Twitter for news, legislative updates, and breaking DNA news.