Drug Testing and Forensic Services

Drug Testing

The Pretrial Services Agency for the District of Columbia’s (PSA) in-house laboratory (Lab), operated by the Office of Forensic Toxicology Services (OFTS), conducts drug testing for pretrial defendants under PSA’s supervision, offenders under CSOSA’s supervision (i.e., persons on probation, parole, and supervised release), as well as respondents ordered into testing by the D.C. Superior Court Family Court. The Lab is certified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services/CLIA and is staffed by professionals with credentials in forensic toxicology, forensic science, medical technology, chemistry and biology.

The Lab performs tests on tens of thousands of samples each month, which translates to millions of analyses for various drugs each year. Each sample, collected from defendants and offenders and Family Court respondents, can be tested for up to seven different drugs of abuse.

The existence of an on-site laboratory in the courthouse permits same-day turnaround time for drug test results in pretrial cases. The Lab also can perform “spot” tests ordered by a judicial officer within a two-hour time-frame through our lab and state-of-the art testing and management information systems.

Forensic Analysis and Testimony

When requested, the Lab’s toxicologists and chemists provide expert testimony in support of analytical results. Lab scientists interpret results for new or residual use for over 2,000 individuals each month.