Crime scene investigation and analysis includes everything that happens to document, locate, preserve, collect, and interpret evidence found at a crime scene. It also includes what happens to evidence after it is collected from the scene. Without careful attention to these processes, evidence could be missed or contaminated, which makes it more difficult to solve crimes.
- Crime Scene Investigation
- Evidence Screening and Processing
Technical Working Group on Biological Evidence Preservation
The proper long-term storage and preservation of biological evidence has become increasingly newsworthy as states throughout the U.S. enact legislation allowing post-conviction DNA testing of evidence. In August 2010, we partnered with the National Institute of Justice to lead the Technical Working Group on Biological Evidence Preservation, which examines current policies, procedures, and practices in biological evidence collection, storage, and preservation. The primary objective of the working group was to establish best practices, based in science, to reduce the premature destruction and degradation of biological evidence, thus ensuring its availability for future analysis.
The Technical Working Group on Biological Evidence Preservation has released The Biological Evidence Preservation Handbook: Best Practices for Evidence Handlers. The Handbook addresses packaging and storage, tracking and chain of custody, and disposition of biological evidence. For more information on the Handbook and the working group, visit the Technical Working Group on Biological Evidence Preservation's page.
Accuracy of Forensic Photo Scales
Forensic scientists use rulers/photo scales when photographing a crime scene or a piece of evidence to objectively indicate its size. To test the conformity of various American Board of Forensics Odontology (ABFO) #2 Rulers and equivalents against existing accuracy guidelines published in a 1988 Journal of Forensic Science article, we conducted a surveillance exercise. In December 2011, we purchased five rulers from ten different vendors and used our vision measurement system to measure the distance between the zero mark and each centimeter mark to test each scale's accuracy. The results of these experiments will be published soon.