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Forensic sciences

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Supporting States to Test Sexual Assault Evidence

April, 2018

April 2018

Crime laboratory and law enforcement personnel from three states discuss the value the NIJ-FBI Sexual Assault Kit Partnership to test sexual assault evidence and obtain investigatory leads.

During this partnership, NIJ is working with the FBI Laboratory in Quantico, Virginia, to test eligible kits from law enforcement agencies and laboratories across the country and develop best practices that can improve the quality and speed of sexual assault kit processing. 

Strengthening Our Nation's Crime Laboratories

April, 2018

April 2018

As technology improves, demand for analysis of DNA and other forensic evidence to help solve crimes grows. This video describes some of the challenges crime laboratories face in meeting this demand and how National Institute of Justice (NIJ) funding has strengthened crime labs and encouraged innovation in forensic techniques.

Strengthening Our Nation's Crime Laboratories

April, 2018

April 2018

As technology improves, demand for analysis of DNA and other forensic evidence to help solve crimes grows. This video describes some of the challenges crime laboratories face in meeting this demand and how National Institute of Justice (NIJ) funding has strengthened crime labs and encouraged innovation in forensic techniques.

Performance Data from the DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Reduction (CEBR) Program

: Casework laboratories test forensic evidence from on ongoing cases and investigations. The metrics they report come from the DNA analysis of this evidence. Database laboratories analyze DNA samples collected from convicted offenders and arrestees as the State’s legislation dictates. Every state has at least one database laboratory, and those laboratories are generally managed by the state laboratory system. The metrics they reported are from the analysis of these database samples. Note that not all database laboratories collect arrestee samples and not all the grantees listed in this grid collect database samples.

January 1, 2016 – June 30, 2018

Yes, the backlog reported in these metrics includes the SAK backlog. The CEBR program is designed to support DNA analysis for all crimes including homicide, sexual assault and robbery, thus NIJ does not focus on obtaining data associated with one category of evidence or crime.

A CODIS hit may involve the linking of crimes to each other and/or to convicted offenders or arrestees. The system’s hits are tracked as either an offender hit (where the identity of a potential suspect is generated) or as a forensic hit (where the DNA profiles obtained from two or more crime scenes are linked but the source of these profiles remains unknown (FBI, 2019)).

Grantees who record zero for measures D-F or J-L did not use their Federal award money for one or more of the following activities: overtime for existing scientists to analyze forensic biology/DNA cases or database samples, DNA testing supplies for forensic biology/DNA cases or database samples, outsourcing forensic biology/DNA cases or database samples, or hiring and supporting additional scientists whose main activity was analyzing forensic biology/DNA cases or database samples. If grantees are using their Federal award money for one or more of the above activities, they should have data to report for cases analyzed, database samples analyzed, profiles uploaded from forensic cases and database samples, and hits.

The award period for CEBR awards are two years. Some grantees receive extensions on their awards for many different reasons, but the longest extension an award can receive is one year, for a total award period of three years.

Opening the Black Box of NIBIN

July, 2014

Bill King discusses the operations of the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN), a program through which firearms examiners at state and local crime laboratories compare tool marks on fired bullets or cartridges found at a crime scene to digitized images of ballistic evidence in a nationwide database.

Human Factors in Latent Print Examination

June, 2011

The NIJ-sponsored Expert Working Group on Human Factors in Latent Print Analysis is clarifying potential sources of error in pattern recognition analysis. It will develop best practices to remove or minimize these sources. NIJ is addressing recommendations in the 2009 National Academy of Sciences' report titled "Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward." Specifically, the panelists focus on recommendation 5, which encourages research programs on human observer bias and sources of human error in forensic examinations.

Human Factors in Latent Print Examination

June, 2011

The NIJ-sponsored Expert Working Group on Human Factors in Latent Print Analysis is clarifying potential sources of error in pattern recognition analysis. It will develop best practices to remove or minimize these sources. NIJ is addressing recommendations in the 2009 National Academy of Sciences' report titled "Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward." Specifically, the panelists focus on recommendation 5, which encourages research programs on human observer bias and sources of human error in forensic examinations.

Human Factors in Latent Print Examination

June, 2011

The NIJ-sponsored Expert Working Group on Human Factors in Latent Print Analysis is clarifying potential sources of error in pattern recognition analysis. It will develop best practices to remove or minimize these sources. NIJ is addressing recommendations in the 2009 National Academy of Sciences' report titled "Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward." Specifically, the panelists focus on recommendation 5, which encourages research programs on human observer bias and sources of human error in forensic examinations.

Human Factors in Latent Print Examination

June, 2011

The NIJ-sponsored Expert Working Group on Human Factors in Latent Print Analysis is clarifying potential sources of error in pattern recognition analysis. It will develop best practices to remove or minimize these sources. NIJ is addressing recommendations in the 2009 National Academy of Sciences' report titled "Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward." Specifically, the panelists focus on recommendation 5, which encourages research programs on human observer bias and sources of human error in forensic examinations.

Human Factors in Latent Print Examination

June, 2011

The NIJ-sponsored Expert Working Group on Human Factors in Latent Print Analysis is clarifying potential sources of error in pattern recognition analysis. It will develop best practices to remove or minimize these sources. NIJ is addressing recommendations in the 2009 National Academy of Sciences' report titled "Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward." Specifically, the panelists focus on recommendation 5, which encourages research programs on human observer bias and sources of human error in forensic examinations.

Sexual Assault: Obtaining DNA From Evidence Collected up to a Week Later

June, 2009

Technological advances have made it possible to detect male DNA in evidentiary samples collected several days after a sexual act has taken place. Panelists will present the research that has led to these findings, followed by a discussion of the potential impact of this work from the perspectives of the sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE) and the crime laboratory communities.

Sexual Assault: Obtaining DNA From Evidence Collected up to a Week Later

June, 2009

Technological advances have made it possible to detect male DNA in evidentiary samples collected several days after a sexual act has taken place. Panelists will present the research that has led to these findings, followed by a discussion of the potential impact of this work from the perspectives of the sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE) and the crime laboratory communities.

Sexual Assault: Obtaining DNA From Evidence Collected up to a Week Later

June, 2009

Technological advances have made it possible to detect male DNA in evidentiary samples collected several days after a sexual act has taken place. Panelists will present the research that has led to these findings, followed by a discussion of the potential impact of this work from the perspectives of the sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE) and the crime laboratory communities.