The Justice and Public Safety Secretary is apologizing after the department failed to collect close to 4,000 convicted felons' DNA samples, as required by law.
"We messed up," says Michael Brown, Justice and Public Safety Secretary.
House Bill 321 requires that anyone convicted of a felony in Kentucky, on or after March 27, 2009, provide a DNA sample. An internal review by the Department of Corrections revealed they failed to get DNA from about 6,300 convicted felons.
Correctional officials have already notified the 2,400 felons who are currently on supervision to provide a sample. But for the nearly 4,000 felons who haven't supplied their DNA, and have already completed their sentence, they'll soon receive a letter in the mail. The letter will direct them to provide a DNA sample within 30 days or face a Class A misdemeanor.
Officials say they're not sure how this mistake was made, but an outside investigation has already begun to help answer that question.
"We are sending them the statutory notification that they are obligated to come into probation and parole and provide us with a DNA sample," says Brown.
Secretary Brown says through the outside investigation, they hope to find what caused the error and prevent it from happening in the future.
Since 2009, the department has collected nearly 75,000 DNA samples for the state and national database.