Physical Evidence Handbook

DNA Databank

The DNA Databank is the repository for known DNA profiles (patterns) of convicted Wisconsin felons. It is also the repository for profiles from unsolved offenses. Profiles are stored in computer-searchable form. This allows serial cases to be related and "no suspect" cases to be solved by relating them to samples from a known source.

One of the main programs within the Serology/DNA section is the Wisconsin DNA Databank. Every person convicted of a felony is required by law to provide a DNA sample to the Databank. These samples are profiled and the profiles are stored in a computer. DNA profiles obtained from evidence taken during the investigation of crimes with completely unknown suspects are also stored in the Databank.

The profiles for known offenders are searched against the casework profiles in an attempt to develop a suspect. This gives law enforcement a powerful tool to potentially solve cases which cannot be solved in any other way. The Wisconsin databank is linked nationally through the CODIS network. This allows Wisconsin cases to be searched against other states' samples, and vice-versa.

In addition to potentially solving cases, the Databank may be able to associate serial cases which have not previously been identified as having involved the same suspect. This is achieved by comparing each casework profile to all the other casework profiles.

If there are any concerns or questions about dna databank collections, please contact the DNA Databank Unit by email at dnadatabank@doj.state.wi.us or by phone at 608-266-2031.