Resources for Practitioners: Forensic Science Tools
How can science be made more understandable to people who are involved in the criminal justice process? The National Institute
of Justice (NIJ) is producing tools to help ensure that science — from DNA to fingerprints, and eyewitness evidence to digital
evidence — is clearly presented and reliable. Here is just a sample of the tools that NIJ offers.
- Investigative Uses of Technology: Devices, Tools, and Techniques (pdf, 169 pages). Designed primarily for detectives and forensic examiners, this Special Report contains a chapter on using data from cell phones, computers, caller ID, credit card instruments, pagers, voice recorders,
GPS devices, and more. It also features notes on search and seizure, privacy, and other constitutional issues.
- Investigations Involving the Internet and Computer Networks (pdf, 137 pages). This Special Report is a resource for all practitioners—investigators, first responders, detectives, prosecutors—who want to learn more about
technology-related crimes and investigative tools and techniques.
- Digital Evidence in the Courtroom: A Guide for Law Enforcement and Prosecutors (pdf, 81 pages). Criminals use computers to steal information, commit fraud, and stalk victims online. This Special Report (with accompanying training materials and mock trial video) discusses the legal requirements for handling digital evidence
and guidelines for a successful prosecution, including a case study using this kind of evidence in a child pornography prosecution.
- Online Training (www.dna.gov).
- Addressing Shortfalls in Forensic Science Education (pdf, 4 pages). Many crime labs find that new graduates from forensic science education programs are not properly trained. This In Short describes the benefits of an accredited forensic science education program.
Date Created: March 18, 2008