What Does CODIS Stand For?

Learn about what CODIS stands for and how this DNA database system is revolutionizing the way crimes are solved. Discover the impact of CODIS on criminal investigations and the statistics behind its success.


CODIS, which stands for Combined DNA Index System, is a powerful tool used by law enforcement agencies to solve crimes through DNA analysis. In this article, we will explore what CODIS is, how it works, and its impact on solving criminal cases.

What is CODIS?

CODIS is a national DNA database that enables law enforcement agencies to compare DNA profiles from crime scenes to profiles of convicted offenders, arrestees, and missing persons. By connecting DNA evidence from various crime scenes, CODIS helps link crimes to each other and identify serial offenders.

How Does CODIS Work?

When a DNA sample is collected from a crime scene, it is entered into the CODIS database. The system then searches for matches between the crime scene DNA and known DNA profiles. If a match is found, it can provide investigators with valuable leads to follow in their criminal investigations.

Impact of CODIS

CODIS has been instrumental in solving numerous cold cases and identifying perpetrators who would have otherwise gone unpunished. For example, the case of the Golden State Killer was cracked using CODIS, leading to the arrest of a suspect decades after the crimes were committed.


According to the FBI, as of 2021, CODIS has assisted in over 500,000 investigations and resulted in more than 400,000 hits, leading to over 500,000 suspects being identified. These numbers highlight the significant impact CODIS has had on solving crimes and bringing criminals to justice.


In conclusion, CODIS plays a crucial role in modern law enforcement by using DNA technology to solve crimes and ensure public safety. It continues to be a valuable tool for investigators in identifying suspects, linking crimes, and bringing closure to victims and their families.

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