Is outsourcing the solution, to a DNA backlog at the state crime lab? That's the argument pitched by a Wisconsin Criminal Justice Study Commission, an independent panel headed by former Milwaukee circuit court judge Mike Malmstadt. "It's expensive," said Malmstadt. "We know that. The question is, what is the expense of having those people out on the street, committing offenses?" The commission made their recommendation just prior to a hearing by two Assembly committees, where Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen said outsourcing is an expensive option; in his opinion too expensive at "roughly twice as much to outsource a case, as it is to do it in house." Van Hollen has asked for 31 new crime analysts as part of the next state budget, which he says will bring the DNA backlog down by 2010. Malmstadt with the study commission says that's too long to deal with this public safety issue, and says outsourcing some analysis could bring the problem under control in 18 months.
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