CODIS is the FBI’s (Federal Bureau of Investigation) crime-reduction software initiative which enables US federal, state and local crime labs to store and electronically compare DNA profiles and identify crime suspects by matching DNA from crime scenes to DNA from convicted offenders.

ExampleSexual assault is committed; DNA profile of perpetrator is developed from sexual assault evidence kit; if there is no suspect in the case or if suspect’s DNA profile doesn’t match evidence, the local lab compares the DNA profile to the convicted offender index–COI. If there is a match in the COI, the lab obtains the identity of suspected perpetrator; if there is no match, the DNA profile is searched in the forensic or crime scene index; if matched, the lab has linked ≥ 2 crimes and the law enforcement agencies involved in cases can pool information on each case. CODIS intends to create a database of states’s convicted offender profiles and use it to solve crimes with no suspects; all 50 states have laws requiring sex offenders to provide DNA samples; over half include offenders convicted of other violent crimes–e.g., murder, manslaughter, arson, kidnaping, robbery; this time we are relieved that Big Brother is watching.

The National DNA Index System–NDIS is one part of CODIS, the national level, and contains DNA profiles contributed by federal, state, and local participating forensic laboratories.

Abbreviation for Combined DNA Index System 


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