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Plan for DNA database moves forward

April 19, 2008 at 2:15 PM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, April 19 (UPI) -- The U.S. Justice Department says it is going forward with its plan to take DNA samples from anyone in federal custody, not just convicted felons.

The Justice Department officially proposed the plan this week, requesting the ability to collect DNA samples from individuals currently incarcerated in the federal legal system, The New York Times reported Saturday. The genetic information goes into the Federal Bureau of Investigation's national database.

The current DNA sampling system only involves taking samples from convicted felons.

Congress authorized the additional testing in 2006 but didn't provide additional funds. The new regulations could potentially involve collecting DNA samples from 1.2 million people, a 1,200 percent increase from current levels, and involve mostly illegal immigrants, the Times said.

A 30-day commencement period on the proposal began Friday once it was formally proposed, the Times said. After that period, Justice Department officials will create a final version of the proposal and if it is implemented, increased collections could begin by Dec. 31.

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