Criminalistics Laboratory - DNA Profiling Convicted Offender Unit

BIOMEK 300 Liquid Handling

The DNA Profiling Convicted Offender Unit (PCO) determines the DNA profiles of convicted offenders and stores their profiles in a computer database. Comparisons are made between the profiles found in the convicted offender database and the profiles obtained from criminal cases where no suspect has been identified.

NOTE: Convicted offender samples should now be entered on the Offender Entry website prior to sending them to the DCI Laboratory for processing. If you have questions regarding the website, or entry process, you can access the information below. Tara Scott ( or 515.559.7082) or Erica Ng ( or 515.559.7063) or Eric Parry ( or 515.689.3609) are available to answer questions regarding the Offender Entry website. They will assist you in any way they can to help you through this process. You can also contact the main DCI Lab number, 515.725.1500, and your call will be routed to the appropriate person to assist you.

Sampling of the current FTA collection cards using an automated punch
Sampling of the current FTA collection cards
using an automated punch.

Offender Entry Website Training Information:

In response to the request for additional training opportunities, the DCI Crime Laboratory has filmed a video tutorial on sample collection. The video and website manual are available below:

Offender Entry Website Training Video



After watching the tutorial complete the quiz then email Erica Ng ( and Eric Parry ( with a copy of the completed quiz.

The quiz is available below:


With a passing score, a certificate of completion will be issued along with a website username and password for the offender entry website
NOTE:  The best candidates for this training would be individuals directly involved in processing offenders through your location. 

New iconConvicted Offender DNA Web Program


Current FTA Buccal Collection Kit Instructions:

The laboratory has redesigned the DNA database collection kit in order to streamline the DNA analysis process within the lab. As a result the collection process now uses FTA collection card technology to collect a buccal DNA sample.

Please review the current collection process. If you have any questions concerning this collection process, please call the PCO (Profiling Convicted Offender) DNA unit of the lab at 515.725.1500.

DNA FTA Collection Video

How to Collect Samples

Q: When collecting DNA Samples from an offender do we let them swab themselves or do we have to swab them?
A: The collector should swab the offender. Do not let them swab themselves.

Q: If contacted about re-collecting an Offender’s sample do I need to enter the new Offender sample on the website?
A: Yes, please follow the normal protocol for entry of that Offender. If you encounter any issues when entering that Offender on the website, please contact the DCI Crime Lab at 515.725.1500.

Website Editing Information

Q:  What should I do if I get a “character length” error when entering a Social Security Number?
A:  Remove the dashes; our system will not accept a Social Security Number with dashes present.

Q:  How do I submit this form without a Social Security Number?
A: Individuals without Social Security Numbers can be entered into the website using 000000000.

Q:  Does the Offender Entry Website recognize alias information? 
A:  No.  We are not able to keep track of alias information.  To identify if an individual has a DNA record we would ask collectors to search the database using Social Security Numbers, DCI Number, ICON number or Date of Birth prior to using a Name Search.

Q: I entered an offender into the database yesterday and mailed it to the lab.  It is listed under the “reprint recent submissions” list, but not listed when I searched offenders. Why is that?
A: That individual will not be searchable under the Offender search until we have received it into the lab.  This is a fail-safe in the event a sample gets lost in transit.

Q: I just entered a sample but I switched the middle and the first name around. How do I fix this?
A: You can edit that information.

IF your sample has not been received into the laboratory:

  • Click on the “Re-Print Recent Submissions button”.
  • Find the offender and click on the edit button. 
  • Correct the name and click the “submit to lab” button again. 
  • No need to reprint it off, it will scan with the new name entered when within the lab.

IF your sample has been received into the laboratory:

  • The website will not allow you to edit the record.  So call the laboratory and ask to speak to the Convicted Offender Section.

Q: When I was entering an Offender into the database, I noticed in the “collected by” information the phone number that was listed was my personal cell phone number.  How do I change it to my work number?
A: To update any of your information, click on the Edit User Profile button on the home screen. 

Who to Collect

Q: I know that MOST aggravated misdemeanors are requiring DNA submission now but there are some that do not qualify. What aggravated misdemeanor convictions do not require sample submission?

  • Violation of Ch. 321 (Motor Vehicle Offenses)
  • A second offense violation of section 321J.2, unless the person has more than one previous revocation as determined pursuant to section 321J.2 (OWI) subsection 8 within the 12-year period immediately preceding the commission of the offense in question.
  • A violation of chapter 716B.  (Hazardous Waste Offenses)
  • A violation of chapter 717A. (Agricultural Production Offenses)
  • A violation of section 725.7. (Illegal gaming)

Just a reminder the individuals have to have committed the qualifying aggravated misdemeanor after July 1, 2014, and subsequently be convicted of that crime to require DNA sample collection.

Q: Does a second DNA sample need to be collected under an individual’s alias information?
A: As long as all identifying information (DOB, SSN, DOC, DCI) match that sample does not need to be collected.  The offender entry website will not allow you to collect enter an individual based solely on a name change.  The system will flag the sample as a duplicate unless a re-collection is required.

Q: Can I use these kits to collect known DNA samples for Casework DNA?
A: NO. These kits are only for the Convicted Offender Unit not for casework. 

FTA Collection Kit Information

Q: Where do I get more buccal FTA collection kits?
A: The kits are provided by the Iowa DCI Crime Laboratory, and are distributed to local law enforcement agencies by the Department of Corrections.  Please contact Abby Williams ( or 515.725.5746) to receive more DNA collection Kits.