U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Joins Bipartisan Group Calling on DOJ to Provide Guidance on Boosting Support for Forensic Labs in Efforts to Combat Opioid Epidemic
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin sent a bipartisan letter, led by Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and John Cornyn (R-TX), asking U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to provide Congress with information detailing how the Department of Justice (DOJ) is supporting and prioritizing forensic science service providers across the nation as a part of a broader approach to combat the opioid epidemic.
“The opioid crisis knows no boundaries; it reaches into homes in every community in every region of this country. Stopping the flow of these drugs is critical to ending the crisis, but to do so requires the ability to trace the drugs to their source. This demands a forceful and vigorous effort by our forensic science community,” wrote the senators.
The senators continued, “The current opioid crisis has overwhelmed the nation’s collective laboratory systems with more than a 6000% increase in the last four years, according to National Forensic Laboratory Information System (NFLIS) data provided by the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors. Case backlogs and turnaround times are growing. Dangerous emerging drugs are not being scheduled to make them illegal, and deaths likely associated with drug overdose are not being investigated completely by medical examiners and coroners.”
The bipartisan group supporting the letter also includes Senators Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), John Boozman (R-AR), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Thad Cochran (R-MI), Susan Collins (R-ME), Christopher Coons (D-DE), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Al Franken (D-MN), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), James Inhofe (R-OK), Angus King (I-ME), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), James Lankford (R-OK), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Ed Markey (D-MA), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Rob Portman (R-OH), James Risch (R-ID), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).
The letter can be read in full here.
An online version of this release is available here.
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Read more about Opioid Crisis here
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