In response to a congressional mandate for specified forensic science organizations to report on the needs of the crime lab and medical examiner community beyond the "DNA Initiative," this report by one of the specified organizations, the International Association for Identification (IAI), focuses on needs in the areas of patterned evidence disciplines such as fingerprints and footwear/tiretracks, crime scene investigation, bloodstain pattern analysis, and digital evidence.
In order to obtain the opinions of local and State forensic practitioners and administrators in these areas, the IAI surveyed approximately 180 of these professionals around the country, with responses received from 85. Based on the survey, 11 recommendations are offered in the area of policy. One recommendation is to explore ways for providing more training for State and local forensic service providers. Another recommendation is that the FBI increase the number of Universal Latent Workstations at the State and local levels. Other policy recommendations pertain to research into the scientific bases of impression evidence, especially fingerprint evidence; the reactivation of the FBI's forensic science training programs; more Federal support to crime labs and first responders regarding mass-casualty events; mandatory accreditation of organizations and the certification of forensic practitioners; and continuation of the National Institute of Justice's role in developing a fast live scan to be used as an input device for fingerprints taken as part of the US VISIT program. Two recommendations address funding strategies. The survey contained questions on manpower and equipment needs in the areas of fingerprint identification, footwear/tiretracks, crime scene investigation, bloodstain pattern evidence, and digital evidence. Questions and responses also pertain to continuing education policies, professionalism and accreditation standards, and the level of collaboration needed between Federal forensic science labs and State/local forensic science labs.
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