BJS: Bureau of Justice Statistics

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Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)
Home  | Data Collection Detail

Data Collection: Census of Publicly Funded Forensic Crime Laboratories
Status: Active
Frequency: Every three to four years since 2002
Latest data available: 2009

Provides a comprehensive look at the forensic services provided by federal, state, and local crime labs across the nation and the resources devoted to completing the work. The Census of Publicly Funded Forensic Crime Laboratories collects data on staff, budgets, and workloads within publicly operated labs. The census also provides information on lab accreditations, proficiency tests, and other quality assurances.

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Data Experts

  • Matt Durose, Statistician, BJS
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    Collection Period

    2002, 2005, 2009

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    Questionnaires

    Census of Publicly Funded Forensic Crime Laboratories
    2009 PDF (114K) | 2005 PDF (1.2M)
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    Methodology

    The Census of Publicly Funded Forensic Crime Laboratories (CPFFCL) included all state, county, municipal, and federal crime labs that (1) are solely funded by government or whose parent organization is a government agency and (2) employ at least one full-time natural scientist who examines physical evidence in criminal matters and provides reports and opinion testimony with respect to such physical evidence in courts of law. Some publicly funded crime labs are part of a multi-lab system. The census attempted to collect information from each lab in the system. Police identification units, although sometimes responsible for fingerprint analysis, and privately operated facilities were not included in the census.

    The first CPFFCL was conducted in 2003 to capture data on the 2002 workload and operations of the 351 publicly funded crime labs operating that year. A follow-up census was fielded three years later to address additional forensic science issues and examine changes since 2002. In 2010, BJS conducted a third census on the workload and operations of publicly funded crime labs in 2009. A total of 397 (or 97%) of the 411 eligible labs responded to the 2009 census, including at least one from every state.

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    Publications & Products

    The following publications and products were generated by BJS using data from this collection.

    Census of Publicly Funded Forensic Crime Laboratories, 2009 Presents data on the more than 400 state, municipal, county, and federal crime laboratories operating in the United States during 2009.
      Press Release | PDF (861K) | ASCII file (36K) | Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 48K)
    Part of the Census of Publicly Funded Forensic Crime Laboratories Series

    Census of Publicly Funded Forensic Crime Laboratories, 2009 NEARLY 1.2 MILLION FORENSIC REQUESTS TO PUBLICLY FUNDED CRIME LABS WERE BACKLOGGED AT YEAREND 2009, UNCHANGED FROM 2008
      Press Release
    Part of the Census of Publicly Funded Forensic Crime Laboratories Series

    Census of Publicly Funded Forensic Crime Laboratories, 2005 "Crime labs received an estimated 2.7 million cases in 2005"
      Press Release | More information about this release
    Part of the Census of Publicly Funded Forensic Crime Laboratories Series

    Census of Publicly Funded Forensic Crime Laboratories, 2005 Presents findings from the Census of Publicly Funded Forensic Crime Laboratories, 2005.
      Press Release | PDF (848K) | ASCII file (31K) | Spreadsheet (Zip format 17K) | To order paper version
    Part of the Census of Publicly Funded Forensic Crime Laboratories Series

    Census of Publicly Funded Forensic Crime Laboratories, 2002 Reports on the organization, functions, budget and expenditures, staffing, workload, and forensic backlog in the Nation's more than 350 publicly funded crime labs.
      Press Release | PDF (606K) | ASCII file (34K) | Spreadsheet (Zip format 60K) | Codebooks and Datasets | To order paper version
    Part of the Census of Publicly Funded Forensic Crime Laboratories Series

    50 Largest Crime Labs, 2002 Reports on the workload, backlog, and estimated resources needed to meet the demand for forensic services in the Nation's 50 largest publicly funded crime labs.
      PDF (478K) | ASCII file (10K) | Spreadsheet (Zip format 8K) | To order paper version


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