Crime Lab Information
Crime laboratories should not, and generally do not, operate in a vacuum. The ISO 17025 standard is the most common standard for crime laboratories to follow. Using this body of standards, an outside agency can inspect a crime lab to both ensure that minimum necessary protocols are followed and that a crime lab follows its own internal procedures. Forensic scientists generally rely on communication with their peers through networks of similar professionals. Until recently, scientific working groups (SWG) often generated standards and procedures to follow. One of the criticisms within the NAS report was the lack of both authority and general acceptance of these groups. The federal government is aiming to replace these groups, or at least supplement them, with Organization of Scientific Area Committees for Forensic Science (OSAC).
- OSAC’s are a relatively new addition to the forensic sciences. Read more about the development of OSAC’s here.
- ISO 17025 governs testing laboratories in general. Therefore, many facets of it apply to crime laboratories. Read more about ISO 17025 here.
- The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) does much of the forensic testing for criminal cases in Florida. Learn more about what services the FDLE provides here.
- Public records requests are an easy way to obtain the documentation generated by crime laboratories in Florida. While obtaining such records can be done by simply walking up to the information window at an FDLE crime lab, they are more easily done in writing. The general process is explained here.
- The 2009 NAS Report, while not a document of procedure for a crime lab, is the most authoritative criticism of the forensic system to date. Read the NAS report in its entirety here.
- The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) issued an update on the NAS Report, commonly referred to as the PCAST Report. The PCAST Report updated the forensic community on the status of comparison type forensics and the scientific validity of those areas. Read the PCAST Report in its entirety here.
- The National Commission on Forensic Sciences was created to promote best practices in forensic science.
Proper Collection of Evidence – Dr. Mark Kerrin
The Orlando Police Department Cold Case Initiatives – Det. Michael Moreschi
What is Forensic Statistics, and What Does it Mean for Forensic Pattern Recognition? – Dr. Simon Cole
Distinguishing Between Opinion and Relevance Versus Demonstrably Sufficient Science – Dr. Karan Kafadar
Forensic Statistics – The Likelihood Ratio Approach
Legal Aspects of Including Statistics in Court – Stephan Krejci and Dr. Candice Bridge
Characterization and Classification of Silicone Lubricants with Statistics – Brooke Baumgarten
Reviews of Current Trends in Forensic Science
Forensic science is a constantly progressing field due to the advent of new instruments, techniques, and novel interpretations. Considering the evolving nature of the discipline, it is imperative that legal professionals and scientists remain aware of modern methods and advancements in forensic science. Emily Lennert with the UCF National Center for Forensic Science regularly reviews journal articles related to forensic science. Those reviews can be found here with the accompanying citation to the journal article for further reading.