In the United States, many states have established forensic science oversight bodies, which take many forms and have myriad roles and responsibilities. In all cases, however, these forensic science oversight bodies help ensure complete, accurate, and timely evidence collection and forensic analysis and the transparent, efficient, and effective operation of publicly funded crime laboratories. In 2016, the National Institute of Justice's Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCoE) published a report, the State Forensic Science Commissions, to compile a review of the current state of oversight bodies that promote communication and collaboration among laboratories and stakeholders, assist with allocation of resources, seek laboratory improvements, promulgate accreditation, certification, and standards implementation, and investigate misconduct or professional negligence in crime laboratories, and other implementation and oversight issues.
This report updates the prior FTCoE report to review structure and existence of forensic science oversight bodies, roles, mission and vision, staffing, legislation and coordination and provides a general synopsis of considerations in planning for and developing a state-level forensic science commission. Information in this report can assist states wishing to create and maintain a state forensic science commission.