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Publication Census of Publicly Funded Forensic Crime Laboratories, 2009

Andrea M. Burch, BJS,   Matthew R. Durose, BJS,   Kelly A. Walsh, Urban Institute

August 2, 2012    NCJ 238252

Presents data on the more than 400 state, municipal, county, and federal crime laboratories operating in the United States during 2009. The nation's publicly funded forensic crime labs perform a variety of services, such as DNA tests, controlled substance analyses, and latent fingerprint examinations. This report examines crime lab personnel, budgets, workloads, and other administrative information, including backlogs in requests for forensic services. The report also offers information on laboratory accreditations, proficiency tests, and other quality assurances. It provides a comparative analysis with findings from censuses conducted in 2002 and 2005.

Highlights:

  • During 2009, the 411 federal, state, county and municipal labs operating that year received over 4 million requests for a wide range of forensic services.
  • At the end of 2009, the nation’s publicly funded crime labs had an estimated backlog of 1.2 million requests for forensic services, which was relatively unchanged from the backlog at yearend 2008.
  • Between 2002 and 2009, the percentage of publicly funded crime labs that were accredited by a professional forensic science organization increased from 71% to 83%.
  • Publicly funded crime labs employed an estimated 13,100 full-time personnel in 2009—an increase from about 11,000 in 2002.
  • The estimated budget for all publicly funded crime labs in 2009 was about $1.6 billion compared to the $1.0 billion budget for labs in 2002.

Part of the Census of Publicly Funded Forensic Crime Laboratories Series

Press Release
PDF (861K)
ASCII file (36K)
Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 48K)

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Census of Publicly Funded Forensic Crime Laboratories

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