U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Forensic DNA Education for Law Enforcement Decisionmakers


Home  |  Glossary  |  Resources  |  Help  |  Contact Us  |  Course Map


Photo of man being handcuffed
National Institute of Justice (NIJ) (see reuse policy).

Investigation, arrest and prosecution are mutually dependent phases within the criminal justice process. Elements of the first two phases—investigation and arrest of the suspect—often carry through the prosecution phase. For instance, although the investigation phase precedes arrest and prosecution, the investigation continues throughout the process. Because of this overlap in the phases of the criminal justice process, effective communication between the investigator, laboratory and prosecutor is essential to ensure the process is successful.

For the purposes of this discussion, success is measured by placing the prosecutor in the best position to secure a conviction with the evidence gathered.

Back Forward