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Final Report to NIJ: American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors (ASCLD) Data Collection on Forensic Service Providers

NCJ Number
Date Published
September 2014
13 pages

This report presents the findings, methodology, and recommendations from the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors' (ASCLD's) project to determine the scope of forensic science services provided in the United States beyond those offered in publicly funded, accredited crime laboratories.


In addition to determining the number of forensic service providers in the United States, ASCLD sought to determine how many of these providers were accredited and how many were examining and/or testing crime-scene evidence using criminalistics methods. The project found that the number of forensic services providers in the United States may be less than original estimates. On average, each responding State had 22 forensic providers who participated in the data-collection. Approximately 70 percent of the providers who participated in the data-collection were not accredited by a forensic accrediting body. The limitations of the study are noted, and recommendations pertain to improving the study methodology. The report advises that due to the size of the data-collection effort, the study would benefit from a more rigorous methodology. Beyond State and local crime laboratories, the field of forensic science still lacks a clear understanding of what tasks are involved in being a forensic service provider. In order to obtain an accurate and current estimate of forensic service provider and accreditation status within State and local law enforcement agencies, future research should consider surveying a random sample of the universe of all State and local law enforcement agencies rather than attempting a full census of these agencies. 2 exhibits

Date Published: September 1, 2014