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Funding for the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence has been provided by the National Institute of Justice.

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The Sentinel Role of Forensic Toxicology Laboratories to Identify and Act Upon Diverse Drug Threats by Addressing Toxicology and Economic Demands

Publication Forensic Science International: Synergy, September, 2022 Authors Jeri D. Ropero Miller | RTI International Lawrance D. Mullen | RTI International Paul J. Speaker | West Virginia University Introduction The societal costs from substance abuse are extensive and include treatment…

In-Brief Report Series: Digital Transformation of Cold Case Reviews

Date November 2022 Overview Advances in forensic science and investigative capabilities represent opportunities and challenges for allied criminal justice professionals involved in violent crime cold case investigations. Modern techniques and technologies can uncover important insights that may not have been…

Evaluation of Purdue University’s 3D Imaging Prototype for Footwear and Tire Impressions

Date September 2022 Overview Supported by two National Institute of Justice (NIJ) awards (2016-DN-BX-0189 and 2019-R2-CX-0069), Dr. Song Zhang and his research team at Purdue University led the development of a fully automated 3D imaging system for footwear and tire…

An Introduction to Forensic Genetic Genealogy Technology for Forensic Science Service Providers

Date September 2022 Overview DNA evidence can play a key role in investigations of cold case violent crimes and in cases of missing and unidentified individuals. Searching DNA profiles against the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)’s Combined DNA Index System…

2022 Update: 3D Imaging Technologies and Virtual Comparison Microscopy for Firearms Examination, A Landscape Study

Date August 2022 Overview The National Institute of Justice’s (NIJ) Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCoE), led by RTI International, provides resources that promote the use of technologies in the forensic community. This report is an update to a 2016…

FLN-TWG: Updating Data Collection for Digital Evidence Casework in Project FORESIGHT

← Back to FLN-TWG Main Page  Forensic Laboratory Needs Technology Working Group (FLN-TWG) The National Institute of Justice (NIJ), in partnership with the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCoE) at RTI International, formed the Forensic Laboratory Needs Technology Working Group…

Guidance Document on Considerations for Photographic Documentation in Sexual Assault Cases

Date August 2022 Overview Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANEs) are medical professionals with specialized training and expertise in medicine, psychology, and forensic science and are qualified to conduct sexual assault forensic examinations. During the sexual assault forensic examination, SANEs may…

The American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors Accreditation Initiative: Successes, Challenges, and Future Directions

Date August 2022 Overview In 2019, the American Society of Crime Lab Directors (ASCLD) launched the ASCLD Accreditation Initiative (AAI) in collaboration with the National Institute of Justice’s (NIJ’s) Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCoE) at RTI International. The AAI…

Medicolegal Death Investigation Partnerships on Overdose Fatality Reviews

Date July 2022 Overview The main purpose of Overdose Fatality Reviews (OFRs) is to review overdose fatalities and find gaps in services to help save lives. They rely on a multi-agency approach to information sharing to accomplish this goal. Upon…

An Introduction to Drug Checking and its Role in Harm Reduction

Date July 2022 Overview Harm reduction is a set of strategies to help reduce health complications stemming from drug consumption. Harm reduction organizations provide resources that educate people who use drugs (and their family and friends) about safe drug use…

Project ECHO: Applications for the Medicolegal Death Investigation Community and Other Forensic Disciplines

Date October 2022 Overview Similar to the foundational ECHO model designed for primary care providers, ECHO: Overdose Fatality Investigation Techniques (OD-FIT) is designed to promote the rapid dissemination of medicolegal death investigation-specific knowledge for immediate application to overdose casework.1 The ECHO…

Developing a Postmortem CT Service: Practical Considerations for Death Investigation Agencies

Date May 2022 Overview This guide will help medicolegal death investigation agencies that are considering adopting postmortem computed tomography (PMCT) make informed decisions. First, the basic questions are outlined that must be considered before approaching architects or gathering information about…

Forensic Science State Commissions and Oversight Bodies – 2022 Update

Date June 2022 Overview In the United States, many states have established forensic science oversight bodies, which take many forms and have myriad roles and responsibilities. In all cases, however, these forensic science oversight bodies help ensure complete, accurate, and…
test tubes and scientist

A Landscape Study Examining Technologies and Automation for Differential Extraction and Sperm Separation for Sexual Assault Investigations

Date May 2022 Overview The National Institute of Justice’s (NIJ) Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCoE), led by RTI International, provides valuable resources that promote the use of technologies in the forensic community. Differential extraction is a technique that allows…
drugs & woman

Reports of Adverse Events Associated with Use of Novel Psychoactive Substances, 2017–2020: A Review

Publication Journal of Analytical Toxicology, April 2022 Authors Amanda L A Mohr | Center for Forensic Science Research and Education Barry K Logan | Center for Forensic Science Research and EducationMelissa F Fogarty | Center for Forensic Science Research and…

Guidelines for the Use of Terrestrial LiDAR Scanners in Criminal Justice Applications

Date March 2022 Overview Terrestrial LiDAR scanning devices (also known as terrestrial laser scanning devices, TLS) acquire complex geometric data that capture a three-dimensional representation of a scene; this technology is used in criminal justice applications such as documenting a…
brain, DNA, bloodstain

Human Factors in Forensic Science Practice Sourcebook

Publication Forensic Science International: Synergy, March 2022 Editors Heidi Eldridge, PhD | RTI International Barbara A. Spellman, JD, PhD | University of Virginia School of Law Thomas Busey, PhD | Indiana University, Psychological and Brain Sciences Working Group Members Paul…
fire and cogwheels

Development of an Extraction Technique for Ignitable Liquid Residues (ILR) in the Field using Capillary Microextraction of Volatiles (CMV) and Person-Portable GC-MS

← Additional Portable Instrumentation for On-Scene Fire Debris Analysis Resources Date February 2022 Overview The work in this report is an extension of the capillary microextraction of volatiles (CMV) application (M. Torres et al., 2020) by Florida International University, reported…
fire, smoke, gas

Evaluation of Capillary Microextraction of Volatiles (CMV) Coupled to a Person-Portable Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer (GC–MS) for the Analysis of Gasoline Residues

← Additional Portable Instrumentation for On-Scene Fire Debris Analysis Resources Publication Forensic Chemistry, March 2022 Authors Michelle N. Torres | Florida International University José R. Almirall | Florida International University Abstract A novel dynamic headspace extraction device, the capillary microextraction of…
video screen

Capturing Key Research Outcomes Using Short Video Vignettes: A Guidance Document

Date February 2022 Author David Matthew | David Matthew LLC, Wichita, Kansas Overview This document outlines the process of designing engaging video vignettes to disseminate results from complex research projects in a manner that is easily digestible by practitioners. More…
computer

A Landscape Study of Electronic Case Management Systems for Medical Examiners and Coroners

Date February 2022 Overview Medical examiner and coroner (ME/C) offices sit at the nexus of forensic sciences and public health. These offices play a key role in the investigation of suspicious, unexplained, or unexpected deaths, dissemination of important data to…

Medical Examiner and Coroner Outsourcing Study – A Qualitative Study and Cost-Benefit Analysis

Date January 2022 Overview Medical examiners and coroners (MECs) are often at the center of highly stressful and emotional situations as a part of their daily job duties. Those events are compounded by continued and escalating high caseloads and inadequate…
fingerprints

Success Story: LatentSleuth: A Case Study on the Impact of Federal R&D Funding

National Institute of Justice and the Latent Print Research Community Date December 2021 Overview The development of technologies to improve the objective collection, analysis, and interpretation of evidence is driven by the multiple stakeholders that make up the forensic science…
test tube & molecules

Use of Rapid Toxicology Screening Tools in Medical Examiner/Coroner Offices

Date November 2021 Summary All medical examiner/coroner (ME/C) offices must make difficult decisions when allocating resources for timely, complete medicolegal death investigations. In some cases, toxicological analysis of a decedent’s biological specimens (e.g., blood, urine, tissue) can help determine cause…
ammo

FLN-TWG: 3D Imaging for Firearms and Toolmarks

← Back to FLN-TWG Main Page  Forensic Laboratory Needs Technology Working Group (FLN-TWG) The National Institute of Justice (NIJ), in partnership with the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCoE) at RTI International, formed the Forensic Laboratory Needs Technology Working Group…
latent print and DNA

DNA recovery after sequential processing of latent fingerprints on copy paper

Publication Journal of Forensic Sciences, September 2021 Authors Abigail S. Bathrick, M.F.S. | Bode Technology, Lorton, VA Sarah Norsworthy, M.S. | Forensic Technology Center of Excellence, RTI International, Durham, NC Dane T. Plaza, B.S. | Bode Technology, Lorton, VA Mallory…
DNA and person silhouette

FLN-TWG: Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) for DNA Analysis

← Back to FLN-TWG Main Page  Forensic Laboratory Needs Technology Working Group (FLN-TWG) The National Institute of Justice (NIJ), in partnership with the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCoE) at RTI International, formed the Forensic Laboratory Needs Technology Working Group…
United states with money

Federal Forensic Science Research and Development Programs – A 2021 Update

Publication Date Introduction In response to the 2009 National Academy of Sciences (NAS) report, Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward, the federal government accelerated its investment in forensic science in recent years. The NAS report advocated…

Evidence Collection and Analysis for Touch Deoxyribonucleic Acid in Groping and Sexual Assault Cases

Report Publication Journal of Forensic Nursing, April 2021 Introduction Historically, evidence collection in sexual assault cases focused on obtaining foreign contributor bodily fluids through swab collection. With improvements in deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) analysis methods, DNA profiles can be developed from touch…
DNA strands

Perspectives on Addressing the Collection, Tracking, and Processing of Lawfully Owed DNA Samples

Report Date April 2021 Introduction The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI’s) Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) is a powerful tool that supports the criminal justice system by generating investigative leads, identifying perpetrators, and linking cases together. DNA profiles obtained from…
scientist

FLN-TWG: LC-MS-Based Forensic Toxicology Screening

← Back to FLN-TWG Main Page  Forensic Laboratory Needs Technology Working Group (FLN-TWG) The National Institute of Justice (NIJ), in partnership with the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCoE) at RTI International, formed the Forensic Laboratory Needs Technology Working Group…
fluid

FLN-TWG: Proteomic Mass Spectrometry for Biology Fluid Identification

← Back to FLN-TWG Main Page  Forensic Laboratory Needs Technology Working Group (FLN-TWG) The National Institute of Justice (NIJ), in partnership with the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCoE) at RTI International, formed the Forensic Laboratory Needs Technology Working Group…
constellations over glass lab equipment

Forensic Laboratory Needs Technology Working Group (FLN-TWG)

Supporting NIJ’s Mission to Improve Knowledge and Understanding The National Institute of Justice (NIJ), in partnership with the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCoE) at RTI International, formed the Forensic Laboratory Needs Technology Working Group (FLN-TWG). The FLN-TWG supports NIJ’s…
Person holding vile

Leveraging Laboratory Information Management Systems (LIMS) to Maintain Continuity of Operations: Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic

Report Date Published January 2021 Introduction In response to 2020’s COVID-19 pandemic, forensic crime laboratories have changed their business operations to ensure responsiveness to their customers’ needs while protecting staff welfare and data security. This balance has challenged laboratory management…

Trauma and Coping Mechanisms Exhibited by Forensic Science Practitioners: A Literature Review

Report Date Forensic Science International: Synergy, Volume 2, 2020, Pages 310-316 Abstract Vicarious trauma (VT) has been studied in mental health experts for over 30 years due to their engagement with victims of trauma and exposure to details of events,…
DNA strands in green

Success Story: Advancing Mixture Interpretation Analysis with NOCIt

National Institute of Justice and Rutgers University Date September 2020 Overview DNA samples recovered from crime scenes often contain at least two contributors. Complex forensic DNA mixture interpretation can be challenging and requires computational advancements that support its use. Using…
Person holding vile

A Landscape Study of Laboratory Information Management Systems for Forensic Crime Laboratories

Report Date Published August 2020 Introduction As a key stakeholder in the criminal justice system, forensic laboratories must track, analyze, and report on evidence related to each request for service they receive.  This is no easy task for laboratories: according…

Terrestrial LiDAR Scanning Working Group for Criminal Justice Applications, First Meeting Report

Report Date July 2020 Introduction On February 27 and 28 of 2020, The National Institute of Justice (NIJ), in partnership with the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCoE) at RTI International, convened the first meeting of the Terrestrial LiDAR Scanning…
Person holding vile

The National Institute of Justice and the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence’s National Opioid and Emerging Drug Threats Policy and Practice Forum

Report Date July 2020 Introduction The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) and its Forensic Technology Center of Excellence hosted the National Opioid and Emerging Drug Threats Policy and Practice Forum on July 18-19, 2019, in Washington, DC. The forum explored…
fire and hexagon tiles

Comparison of Portable and Benchtop GC–MS Coupled to Capillary Microextraction of Volatiles for the Extraction and Analysis of Ignitable Liquid Residues

← Additional Portable Instrumentation for On-Scene Fire Debris Analysis Resources Publication Forensic Chemistry, June 2020 Authors Michelle N. Torres | Florida International University Nicole B. Valdes | Florida International University José R. Almirall | Florida International University Abstract A novel…
Data points

Success Story: Revolutionizing Laboratory Efficiency Assessments Through Project FORESIGHT

National Institute of Justice and West Virginia University Date March 2020 Overview Crime laboratories are expected to provide consistent and high quality services across multiple domains to criminal justice stakeholders, even though these laboratories may have limited resources and constrained budgets.…
Silhouette of two people beside building on fire

Modifications to Capillary Microextraction in Volatiles for the Extraction of Ignitable Liquid Residues

← Additional Portable Instrumentation for On-Scene Fire Debris Analysis Resources Date March 2020 Overview This report summarizes the development and implementation of a novel sampling device (capillary microextraction of volatiles ) invented in the Almirall research group at Florida International…

The hidden costs of the opioid crisis and the implications for financial management in the public sector

Jeri Ropero-Miller and Paul Speaker   Report Date Volume 1, 2019, Pages 227-238 Abstract The November 2017 release of the Council of Economic Advisers’ White House report on the opioid crisis suggests that prior consideration of expenses severely underestimated the…

2019 National Institute of Justice Forensic Science Research and Development Symposium

This report was published in RTI Press, a global publisher of peer-reviewed, open-access publications on a broad range of topics. The areas of focus reflect RTI’s multidisciplinary research, our expertise in social and laboratory sciences, and our extensive international activities. Since…

DNA Backlog Reduction Strategy: Law Enforcement Agency Partnerships for a Successful Biological Screening Laboratory

NIJ’s FTCoE, Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Department, and Boca Raton Police Services Department   Report Date November 2019 Introduction Implementing DNA technology in crime laboratories has led to the intensification of backlogged cases and a concomitant pressure to implement backlog…
constellations over glass lab equipment

The NIJ Forensic Laboratory Needs Technology Working Group – Progress to Date and Future Plans

NIJ’s FTCoE and Forensic Laboratory Needs Technology Working Group   Report Date December 2019 Introduction Recognizing the many challenges associated with adopting new technologies and other innovations in forensic science organizations, the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) formed the Forensic…
chemical compounds behind glass tube

Best Practices in Novel Psychoactive Substances Testing for Laboratory Practitioners

NIJ’s FTCoE and Center for Forensic Science Research and Education   Report Date September 2019 Introduction New psychoactive substances (NPS) have always presented a challenge to analytical laboratories tasked with identifying drugs in biological and nonbiological material. The pace at…

Juror comprehension of forensic expert testimony: A literature review and gap analysis

Heidi Eldridge Report Date Volume 1, 2019, Pages 24-34 Abstract Forensic scientists and commentators including academics and statisticians have been embroiled in a debate over the best way to present evidence in the courtroom. Various forms of evidence presentation, both quantitative…

Success Story: Enabling Forensic Field Testing with Paper Microfluidic Devices

National Institute of Justice and Florida International University Date April 2019 Overview Forensic investigators, law enforcement, and military personnel are often placed in potentially dangerous situations when they come across suspected drugs, explosives, and bodily fluids while in the field.…

Success Story: Improving DNA Mixture Interpretation with the Help of Machine Learning

National Institute of Justice and Syracuse University Date March 2019 Overview When DNA is recovered from a crime scene, victim, or suspect, it may be a mixture of genetic information from multiple individuals. To successfully interpret a mixture of DNA,…

Success Story: Advancing 3D Virtual Microscopy for Firearm Forensics

National Institute of Justice and Cadre Forensics Date March 2019 Overview Examining bullets and cartridge cases from crime scenes can help link crimes, moving investigators one step closer to identifying a suspect. Firearm forensic analysis can also link recovered evidence…

In-Brief Report Series: Beyond DNA – Sexual Assault Investigations

Report Series Date January 2019 Introduction The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) is committed in their efforts to support scientific advancement, evidence-based practices, and community awareness of our Nation’s sexual assault response. As NIJ’s Director, Dr. David B. Muhlhausen, indicated,…

Success Story: Uncovering Key Details of Skeletal Remains through 3D-ID Software

National Institute of Justice and North Carolina State University Date January 2019 Overview When forensic anthropologists investigate unidentified remains, they look for important clues that can help identify the subject. For example, the size and shape of the skull can…

Process and Outcome Evaluation of Forensic DNA Unit Efficiency Improvement Program

Technical Note Date November 2018 Description A 2009 National Institute of Justice (NIJ) Forensic DNA Unit Efficiency Improvement (EIP) Program solicitation provided crime laboratories’ DNA testing services with a funding opportunity to meet the increasingly numerous requests from the criminal…

A Landscape Study of SOPs to Collect and Process Arrestee and Convicted Offender DNA Samples

Report Date This study is currently being conducted. The project team presented a poster on preliminary findings and next steps at the International Symposium on Human Identification (ISHI) in Phoenix, Arizona on September 24-27, 2018. Description The Forensic Technology Center…

Conference Proceedings: 2016 International Forensic Radiology Research Summit

This report was published in RTI Press, a global publisher of peer-reviewed, open-access publications on a broad range of topics. The areas of focus reflect RTI’s multidisciplinary research, our expertise in social and laboratory sciences, and our extensive international activities. Since…

Strengthening the Medical Examiner–Coroner System Through NIJ-funded Programs: 2018 Medicolegal Death Investigation Stakeholders’ Meeting

Report Date September 2018 Report Summary On February 5–6, 2018, the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), the research and evaluation agency of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), convened a diverse group of stakeholders from across the United States…

Conference Proceedings: 2018 Impression Pattern and Trace Evidence Symposium

This report was published in RTI Press, a global publisher of peer-reviewed, open-access publications on a broad range of topics. The areas of focus reflect RTI’s multidisciplinary research, our expertise in social and laboratory sciences, and our extensive international activities. Since…

Conference Proceedings: 2018 Research and Development Symposium

This report was published in RTI Press, a global publisher of peer-reviewed, open-access publications on a broad range of topics. The areas of focus reflect RTI’s multidisciplinary research, our expertise in social and laboratory sciences, and our extensive international activities. Since…

Success Story: Establishing a “Microbial Clock” to Improve Time of Death Prediction

National Institute of Justice and Multi-Institute Academic Team Date April 2018 Overview The postmortem interval (PMI) is the time that has elapsed since a person’s death. Determining the PMI at a crime scene may help to recreate the victim’s timeline…

Success Story: Maximizing the Use of Mitochondrial DNA in Identifying Remains and Aiding Missing Persons Casework

National Institute of Justice and the American Registry of Pathology Date April 2018 Overview Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) serves as an important tool in situations where traditional nuclear DNA analysis is unlikely to yield probative information. mtDNA sequencing has traditionally focused…

Applied Polarized Light Microscopy for Trace Evidence Examiners

REPORT DATE April 2018 REPORT SUMMARY Polarized light microscopy (PLM) is a technique commonly used in the field of forensic science. PLM characterizes and identifies trace evidence found at crime scenes, such as fibers, hairs, paints, and glass fragments. This…

Statistical Interpretation Software for Friction Ridge Skin Impressions (FRStat)

REPORT DATE April 2018 REPORT SUMMARY The Defense Forensic Science Center (DFSC) developed FRStat in response to criticisms from legal and scientific commentators on the lack of an empirically demonstrable basis to substantiate conclusions in pattern evidence. This tool is…

Success Story: NIST’s Dogs and Sensor Subcommittee Builds on Achievements by SWGDOG

National Institute of Justice and Florida International University Date April 2018 Overview Dog “detector teams” support law enforcement and first responders in a variety of applications ranging from drug and contraband interdiction to locating human remains. Dogs offer a useful…
wood burning

Success Story: Advancing the Forensic Analysis of Ignitable Liquid Fuel Fires

National Institute of Justice and JENSEN HUGHES Date February 2018 Overview Investigating fires with “liquid fuel” is particularly challenging, as the combustion of building materials often conceals the presence of the fuel. JENSEN HUGHES, led by Dr. Daniel Gottuk, evaluated…
DNA strand

Success Story: Forensic Epigenetics – Markers for the Identification of Body Fluids

National Institute of Justice and Florida International University Date February 2018 Overview  The identification of body fluids recovered from crime scenes can provide valuable information to further aid investigations. The biological origin of body fluids can facilitate the identification of…
vehicles driving in tunnel

Success Story: Improving the Reliability of Forensic Data from Vehicle Data Records

National Institute of Justice and Synercon Technologies Report Date December 2017 Overview Event Data Recorders (EDRs) are available in commercial vehicles. EDRs store relevant information about operation and other environmental variables. These devices contain content that support criminal investigations involving…

Familial DNA: A series of reports released by the National Institute of Justice [2017]

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) published several reports related to Familial DNA in August 2017. The topics of these reports include Studies of Familial DNA Searching Policies and Practices-Case Studies, Studies of Familial DNA Searching Policies and Practices – National…

Detection of Organic Gunshot Residue Using Capillary Microextraction of Volatiles with Cryofocusing

Technical Note Date July 2017 Purpose Researchers at Florida International University’s (FIU’s) International Forensic Research Institute evaluated the capability of capillary microextraction of volatiles (CMV) to extract the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that constitute organic gunshot residue (OGSR) on the…

Evaluation of Existing Technologies for Novel Analysis and Probabilistic Interpretation of Organic Gunshot Residue

Technical Note Date July 2017 Purpose   Firearms exposure has traditionally been monitored by screening for the presence of inorganic particles prevalent in gunshot residue (GSR). These inorganic compounds are associated with the primer in ammunition. Recent research efforts have…

2017 National Institute of Justice Forensic Science Research and Development Symposium

This report was published in RTI Press, a global publisher of peer-reviewed, open-access publications on a broad range of topics. The areas of focus reflect RTI’s multidisciplinary research, our expertise in social and laboratory sciences, and our extensive international activities. Since…

Reports of Adverse Events Associated with Use of Novel Psychoactive Substances, 2013–2016: A Review

This article was published in the Journal of Analytical Toxicology and authored by Barry K. Logan, Amanda L.A. Mohr, Melissa Friscia, Alex J. Krotulski, Donna M. Papsun, Sherri L. Kacinko, Jeri D. Ropero-Miller, Marilyn A. Huestis. This work was developed, in…

2016 National Institute of Justice Forensic Science Research and Development Symposium

This report was published in RTI Press, a global publisher of peer-reviewed, open-access publications on a broad range of topics. The areas of focus reflect RTI’s multidisciplinary research, our expertise in social and laboratory sciences, and our extensive international activities. Since…

Conference Proceedings: 2015 Impression, Pattern, and Trace Evidence Symposium

This report was published in RTI Press, a global publisher of peer-reviewed, open-access publications on a broad range of topics. The areas of focus reflect RTI’s multidisciplinary research, our expertise in social and laboratory sciences, and our extensive international activities. Since…

Organizing and Transferring SANE/SAFE/SART Knowledge and Best Practices

Overview At the request of the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCoE) coordinated a comprehensive Federal effort to organize and transfer knowledge and best practices of sexual assault nurse examiners, sexual assault forensic examiners,…

Organizing and Transferring SANE/SAFE/SART Knowledge and Best Practices

Overview At the request of the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCoE) coordinated a comprehensive Federal effort to organize and transfer knowledge and best practices of sexual assault nurse examiners, sexual assault forensic examiners,…

2017 TechBeat Articles Featuring the FTCoE

FTCoE Opioid Webinar Series Shares Knowledge, Promotes Collaboration  Issue: November 2017 Click here to read the article Forensic Technology Center of Excellence Launches Podcast Series Issue: July/August 2017 Pages: 8-10 Click here to read the article Optical Topography Report: Findings, Methodology, Recommendations Issue: May 2017 Pages: 8-13…

2015 TechBeat Articles Featuring the FTCoE

Gunshot Residue Analysis Featured in New ftcoe Report Series Issue: Sep/Oct 2015 Pages: 3-8 Click here to read the article Familial DNA Project: Engaging Stakeholders, Sharing Opinions Issue: May/Jun 2015 Pages: 13-14 Click here to read the article Cutting-Edge Vacuum Technology: Locates hard to find…

In-Brief: Applying Internal Validation Guidelines for Expanded STR Loci Kits

Report Date January 2017 Report Summary The familiar ‘13 Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) core loci’ expanded to ‘20 CODIS core loci’ as mandated by the FBI on January 1, 2017. Because of this FBI mandate, participating CODIS laboratories will need…

A Guidance Document on the Forensic Application of Massively Parallel Sequencing

Report Date December 2016 Purpose This report describes the fundamentals of massively parallel sequencing (MPS) for the application to forensic analysis. Also included within this report is a comprehensive summary of the webinar series which discussed the strength of the technology…

A Landscape Study of Mobile Evidential Breath Alcohol Instruments

Report Date December 2016 Purpose This report provides a landscape of select mobile evidential breath alcohol instruments and factors impacting their implementation and use. Specifically, this report provides decision-makers and potential end users with the following: 1) an overview of the…

A Landscape Study of Federal Investment in Forensic Science R&D

Report Date December 2016 Purpose Federal government involvement in forensic science improvement has accelerated in recent years. Federal investments have transformed DNA capacity and demonstrated the power of scientific advances to address criminal justice challenges. In its 2009 report, Strengthening Forensic…

State Forensic Science Commissions

Report Date November 2016 Purpose State commissions focus on communication and collaboration among laboratories and stakeholders, allocation of resources, laboratory improvements, promulgation of accreditation and certification standards, investigations into misconduct or professional negligence in crime laboratories, and other implementation and oversight…

A Validation and Evaluation of Magneto-Optical Imaging Technology

Report Date August 2015 Purpose This report shares findings of an operational, in-field evaluation to recover erased markings in actual firearms. Report Summary Serial Numbers are removed from firearms in an effort to prevent tracking. MO sensor technology is a non-destructive…

In-Brief: Organic GSR Analysis for Potential Shooter Determination

Report Date May 2015 Report Summary Through the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCoE), West Virginia University (WVU) evaluated emerging approaches for the detection of gunshot residue (GSR) based on organic materials in the residue. One…

Organizing and Transferring SANE/SAFE/SART Knowledge and Best Practices

Report Date November 2014 Participants Various researchers, Federal stakeholders, and practitioners from the SANE/SAFE/SART community. Report Summary At the request of the National Institute of Justice, the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCoE) leads a comprehensive federal effort to organize and…

A Landscape Study of Handheld and Portable Raman Spectrometers

Report Date September 2014 Report Summary This report provides a “landscape” view of the issues and products associated with field portable Raman spectrometers for the identification of powders, liquids, gels, or tablets. The document is intended to furnish law enforcement, first…

An Evaluation and Utility Assessment of Magneto-Optical Sensor Technology

Report Date March 2014 Report Summary The discovery of more effective methods to detect and restore erased markings in firearms is of great interest to firearm examiners, in particular the invention of new non‐destructive methods. Magneto optical (MO) sensor technology may…

A Landscape Study of Mobile ID Fingerprint Devices

Report Date January 2014 Report Summary This report provides a “landscape” view of the issues and products associated with mobile devices for fingerprint identification, with a focus on forensic applications. The document is intended to furnish laboratory managers and investigators with…

A Technical Evaluation of Crime Scene Imaging Technologies

Report Date December 2013 Purpose This report discusses the specific results of the evaluation and considerations that an agency should make when deliberating the adoption of a panoramic imaging technology. Report Summary Digital crime scene documentation has become an essential component…

A Landscape Study of DNA Mixture Interpretation Software

Report Date October 2015 Purpose Practical applications and implementation strategies for adoption of a DNA mixture interpretation software tool to assist with the challenges of complex mixture interpretation and statistical analysis. Report Summary Due to the influx of complex mixture…

2014 TechBeat Articles Featuring the FTCoE

Short Tandem Repeat Study Released Issue: Nov/Dec 2014 Page: 27 Click here to read the article Magneto-Optical technology shows promise in “Unerasing” Serial Numbers Issue: Sep/Oct 2014 Pages: 21-24 Click here to read the article Report Provides Insight Into Mobile ID Fingerprint Technology Issue: Jul/Aug 2014…
burned house and sofa on fire

Success Story: Identifying Ignitable Liquids in Fire Debris and Providing Error Rates for Purposes of Testifying

National Institute of Justice and University of Central Florida Date November 2016 Overview Determining the presence of ignitable liquid residue among the fire debris in an arson investigation is a complicated forensic problem. Most ignitable liquids commonly encountered consist of…
skeletons

Success Story: Creating an International Databank of Skeletal Biomarkers for Human Identification

National Institute of Justice and University of South Florida Date September 2016 Overview According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI’s) National Crime Information Center (NCIC), Missing Person and Unidentified Person Files, there are approximately 13,500 unidentified individual cases in…
mitochondria and DNA strands

Success Story: Customizing NextGENe Software for Forensic Applications

National Institute of Justice and CHORI – Collaboration with SoftGenetics® and California Department of Justice Date April 2016 Overview Degraded and mixed DNA samples are often encountered in forensic cases and pose interpretation challenges. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) markers are ideal targets…
DNA strand gloved hand with tube

Success Story: Addressing a Key Challenge for PCR-Based Forensic Tests

National Institute of Justice and DNA Polymerase Technologies Date April 2016 Overview Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) inhibitors are present in blood, soil, and reagents, and represent a key challenge for PCR-based forensic tests, resulting in false negatives and poor sensitivity…
ammunition and smoking gun

Success Story: Demonstrating Objectivity in Ballistic Identification

National Institute of Justice and Intelligent Automation, Inc. Date April 2015 Overview Firearms experts are seeking to strengthen their understanding of the accuracy and reliability of methods they use to associate fired ammunition recovered from a crime scene with a…
DNA strands with barrier tape

Success Story: Introducing New Methods for DNA Analysis

National Institute of Justice and Midwest Research Institute Date April 2015 Overview Dr. Micah Halpern, formerly of Midwest Research Institute, used National Institute of Justice (NIJ) research grants to develop a unique genotyping method that is capable of rapidly producing…
sam quinones headshot

Success Story: Understanding the Ecology of Human Decomposition Methods for Estimating Postmortem Interval

National Institute of Justice and the National Museum of Health and Medicine Date April 2015 Overview Data on the microbiome of decomposing and skeletonized remains are providing an avenue for understanding how microbial communities may be used to augment medicolegal…
outline of man with skulls and blue lines

Success Story: Improving Identification of Mexican Hispanic Remains

National Institute of Justice and Texas State University Report Date April 2015 Overview In the United States, the Mexican Hispanic population ranks second in total size, yet Mexican Hispanic individuals often remain unidentified in forensic anthropological cases. The reason? There…
DNA strand in magnifying glass and handcuffed hands

Success Story: Bringing Short Tandem Repeat DNA Identification to Law Enforcement

National Institute of Justice, UC Berkeley, and IntegenX Date April 2015 Overview Dr. Richard Mathies, chemist and professor at UC, Berkeley, was awarded NIJ funding to develop faster, more reliable, higher throughput, more sensitive, and more integrated technologies for forensic…