Missed Opportunities

Felons released without submitting DNA samples

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
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    When a felon is released from Illinois prisons or county probation, they're supposed to submit a DNA sample so authorities can attempt to link known criminals to unsolved crimes.

    That's not happening, the Chicago Tribune reported Monday night, and robs the state of valuable crime-fighting information.

    Exactly how many people have not submitted samples, as required under the 7-year-old law, is unknown, but the newspaper puts the number as high as 50,000.

    A lack of DNA collection kits and trained personnel is mostly to blame, according to a state police spokesman.

    On the plus side, the state has been able to collect samples from more than 300,000 felons, and the DNA database has produced about 9,000 hits -- that is, the identity of a suspect or an association between cases.