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Publication Publicly Funded Forensic Crime Laboratories: Quality Assurance Practices, 2014

Andrea M. Burch, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Matthew R. Durose, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Kelly A. Walsh, Emily Tiry, Urban Institute

November 22, 2016    NCJ 250152

Presents data on the quality assurance practices of state, county, municipal, and federal forensic crime laboratories operating in the United States during 2014 and compares findings with census data from previous years. This report includes data on crime lab accreditation, employee proficiency testing, written standards for performance expectations, codes of ethics, externally certified personnel, and resources dedicated to research. Findings are based on data from BJS's 2014 Census of Publicly Funded Forensic Crime Laboratories (CPFFCL). See also Publicly Funded Forensic Crime Laboratories: Resources and Services, 2014.

Highlights:

  • In 2014, 88% of the nation's 409 crime labs were accredited by a professional organization, up from 70% in 2002.
  • As in previous CPFFCL years, nearly all (98%) crime labs conducted proficiency testing in 2014.
  • Seventy-five percent of crime labs had written standards for employee performance expectations in 2014.
  • In 2014, 94% of crime labs maintained a written code of ethics.
  • A larger proportion of crime labs employed at least one externally certified analyst in 2014 (72%) than in 2009 (60%).
  • The proportion of crime labs that dedicated resources to research doubled from 7% in 2009 to 14% in 2014.

Part of the Census of Publicly Funded Forensic Crime Laboratories Series

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Census of Publicly Funded Forensic Crime Laboratories

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http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=5828

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