How Agilent is Helping Reduce Jail Overcrowding

The city of Mobile, Alabama is using an Agilent DART mass spectrometer to rapidly process a backlog of drug tests that have contributed to jail overcrowding.

DART stands for “Direct Analysis in Real Time.”  First developed in 2005, this technique enables analysis of gases, liquids and solids in open air under ambient conditions, eliminating the need for sample preparation. Analysis can take place directly on the sample surface, including bank notes, luggage and clothing.

Last year, Alabama had a backlog of more than 38,000 drug tests.  Drug samples had to be sent out to a testing laboratory, resulting in long wait times.  As a result, suspects were forced to wait in prison until their innocence or guilt could be determined.  With the new Agilent DART-TOF (time of flight) instrument, samples can be tested locally and within a matter of minutes.

Agilent DART systems can be used in several applied markets, including forensics and food safety.  Mobile is the first crime laboratory system to apply DART technology.

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