Laboratory Operations

All of our webinars, reports, podcast episodes, and other educational resources are available to the public at no cost.

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

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Navigating Medical Examiner and Coroner Office Accreditation Challenges: A Practical Guide

Date December 2023 Overview The National Institute of Justice (NIJ), in partnership with the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCOE) at RTI International and CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics, set out to re-examine common obstacles and barriers that impede…

White Paper – Forensic Community Drug Database Conceptualization

Date February 2024 Overview The National Institute of Justice (NIJ)-in partnership with its Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCOE) at RTI International and the National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-convened a virtual Medicolegal Death…

Foundational Statistics for Forensic Toxicology Webinar Series

Overview In the field of Forensic Toxicology, numerical data and statistics abound, appearing in quantitative analyses, quality control, measurement uncertainty, proficiency testing, method validation, experimental design, peer-reviewed journal articles, business analytics, and more. Foundational statistical knowledge is critical to understanding…

A National Snapshot of Publicly Funded Crime Laboratory Operations

← Back to Webinar Series Page This webinar originally occurred on April 2, 2024 Duration: 1 hour Overview Crime labs perform a variety of forensic analyses for federal, state, and local criminal justice agencies, examining and reporting on physical evidence…

DEIA: What I learned from the AAFS Diversity Outreach Committee

← Back to Webinar Series Page This webinar originally occurred on March 28, 2024 Duration: 1 hour Overview This webinar introduces contemporary definitions and applications of diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA), which differ from past interpretations. Modern applications will…

Discussion of the FTCOE’s Guidance Document on Considerations for Photographic Documentation in Sexual Assault Cases

Publication Sexual Assault Report, January/February 2024 Author Mikalaa Martin | RTI International Overview In August 2022, the FTCOE published a report, Guidance Document on Considerations for Photographic Documentation in Sexual Assault Cases, which presents photographic documentation practices and techniques for…

2024 NIJ Forensic Science R&D Symposium

Overview The Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCOE) assisted the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) in hosting the annual NIJ Forensic Science Research and Development (R&D) Symposium on Tuesday, February 20, 2024 at the 76th Annual American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) conference in Denver, Colorado. This…

Just Lessons Learned in Forensic Technology Transition

Original Release Date: February 2, 2024 In episode four of our Roadmap to Improving Technology Transition season, Just Science sat down with Dr. Catherine Grgicak, Associate Professor of Chemistry at Rutgers University-Camden, and Stephanie Stoiloff, Chief of the Forensic Services…

We Did It! You can too! An Inside Perspective to Implementing Standards on the OSAC Registry

← Back to Webinar Series Page ← FTCOE ASCLD All Resources Page This webinar originally occurred on January 30, 2024Duration: 1 hour Overview There are many forensic science service providers (FSSPs) with a genuine interest in initiating standards implementation within…

Just Building Partnerships to Advance Forensic Technology

Original Release Date: January 19, 2024 In episode two of our Roadmap to Improving Technology Transition season, Just Science sat down with Cleveland Miles, Director of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Division of Forensic Science, and Henry Maynard, Lead Research…

White Paper – Information Sharing Between Medicolegal Death Investigators and Toxicology Testing Services

Date December 2023 Overview The National Institute of Justice (NIJ)-in partnership with its Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCOE) at RTI International and the National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-convened a virtual Medicolegal Death…

White Paper – Electronic Death Registry in Medicolegal Death Investigation

Date December 2023 Overview The National Institute of Justice (NIJ)-in partnership with its Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCOE) at RTI International and the National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-convened a virtual Medicolegal Death…

What FSSP Leaders Should Know about Artificial Intelligence and its Application to Forensic Science In-Brief

Date December 2023 Overview Artificial intelligence (AI), which leverages computers to perform tasks that enhance decision-making, problem-solving capabilities, and technology-driven innovativeness,” is a rapidly growing area of interest for both industry and the federal research and development (R&D) community.1 For forensic science service…

Interactive Map: Medicolegal Death Investigation Data Flow

Overview The National Institute of Justice (NIJ)-in partnership with its Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCOE) at RTI International and the National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-convened a virtual Medicolegal Death Investigation Data Exchange…

White Paper – Information Sharing Between Medicolegal Death Investigation Offices and Organ and Tissue Recovery Organizations

Date December 2023 Overview The National Institute of Justice (NIJ)-in partnership with its Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCOE) at RTI International and the National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-convened a virtual Medicolegal Death…

White Paper – Electronic Medical Records in Medicolegal Death Investigation

Date December 2023 Overview The National Institute of Justice (NIJ)-in partnership with its Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCOE) at RTI International and the National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-convened a virtual Medicolegal Death…

Virtual Workshop Series: Qualifications of an Expert Witness for Legal Professionals

Overview North Carolina State University (NCSU) and the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCOE) hosted a two-part virtual workshop series on the Qualifications of an Expert Witness for Legal Professionals. This workshop series discussed topics surrounding qualifications of expert witnesses…

Validation of a Confirmatory Proteomic Mass Spectrometry Body Fluid Assay

← Back to Webinar Series Page This webinar originally occurred on December 7, 2023Duration: 1 hour Overview With increasingly sensitive forensic methods for DNA detection, the source from which a DNA profile is obtained becomes increasingly important. Was an individual’s…

A Landscape Study of Computed Tomography Scanners for Postmortem Applications

Date December 2023 Overview Advanced imaging technologies help medicolegal death investigation (MDI) personnel assess cause of death (COD) and manner of death (MOD). The Medical Examiner and Coroner (MEC) community utilize postmortem computed tomography (PMCT) to obtain imaging data to…

Transient Workforce in Forensic Pathology: Challenges, Rewards, and Best Practices

← Back to Webinar Series Page This webinar originally occurred on November 16, 2023 Duration: 1 hour Overview A roadmap to successfully utilizing contract forensic pathologists, also known as locum tenens, will be presented by a Chief Medical Examiner and…

Advancing Research and Collaborative Research Partnerships in Forensic Science

← Back to Webinar Series Page ← FTCOE ASCLD All Resources Page This webinar originally occurred on November 14, 2023 Duration: 1 hour Overview With the ever-increasing volume of evidence being submitted to forensic laboratories coupled with the growing demand…

Implementation Workshop: TOF/QTOF Mass Spectrometry for Identification, Screening, and Confirmation in Forensic Toxicology and Chemistry

Overview This event originally occurred on October 18, 2023 Duration 5.5 hours This virtual workshop aims to provide guidance to forensic science service providers (FSSPs) involved in the planning, purchase, use, or quality assurance surrounding TOF/QTOF-MS instrumentation. The speakers for…

FLN-TWG: A Roadmap to Improve Research and Technology Transition in Forensic Science

← 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…

2023 National Forensic Science Week Puzzle Fingerprint Examination Wordsearch

← Back to Main Page ← Back to All Puzzles Page Puzzle Instruction To view and complete the puzzle in a separate window, click the expanding arrows in the tool bar above the puzzle title. To input your answers click…

2023 National Forensic Science Week Puzzle Crime Scene Examination Wordsearch

← Back to Main Page ← Back to All Puzzles Page Puzzle Instruction To view and complete the puzzle in a separate window, click the expanding arrows in the tool bar above the puzzle title. To input your answers click…

2023 National Forensic Science Week Interview Montage

← Back to Main Page Overview In the past, the FTCOE has released written interviews with forensic practitioners in various stages of their career and working in various forensic disciplines. This year, we created a video comprised of multiple interviews with forensic practitioners from seasoned subject matter experts to young professionals early…

2023 National Forensic Science Week

Overview National Forensic Science Week (September 18-22, 2023) recognizes the contribution that forensic science makes to the criminal justice system. It is an opportunity to celebrate academic programs, forensic professionals, and scientific research in the various forensic disciplines.   Throughout the…
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Just Workplace Stress and Its Impact on Decision-Making in Forensics

Original Release Date: May 12, 2023 In this Special Release episode, Just Science sat down with Dr. Mohammed Almazrouei, a forensic practitioner with the Abu Dhabi Police, to discuss his dissertation work, which examines how workplace stressors may affect decision-making…

Research Clues to Appreciating a New Era of Cannabinoid Conundrums Webinar Series

Overview Use and abuse of various cannabinoids has seen significant growth over the past several years due to the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, also known as the Farm Bill. Proliferation of new cannabinoid products derived from cannabidiol has resulted…

Stress, Trauma, and Burnout in Forensic Scientists

← Back to Webinar Series Page This webinar originally occurred on March 28, 2023Duration: 1 hour Overview The world of forensic science and death investigation is always unpredictable and demanding. Large caseloads, hazardous materials, traumatic evidence, and other complexities related…
lady justice

2023 Sexual Assault Awareness Month Webinar Series: Novel Research on Sexual Assault

Overview This April, in honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence will be releasing a series of webinars covering topics related to novel research on various sexual assault topics. Tune in as our presenters discuss…

Triaging Cases – Case Management and All That Means

← Back to Webinar Series Page This webinar originally occurred on January 31, 2023 Duration: 1 hour Overview This webinar will present laboratory managers with a discussion on case management in forensic science laboratories. All forensic science laboratories struggle with…

The Increased Value of Forensic Science to Lead Gun Crime Investigations

← Back to Webinar Series Page ← FTCOE ASCLD All Resources Page Part I originally occurred on January 16, 2024Duration: 1 hour Part II originally occurred on January 23, 2024Duration: 1 hour Overview The United States has seen the number…

The State of Standard Development & Tools for Assessing and Implementing Standards

← Back to Webinar Series Page This webinar originally occurred on January 17, 2023 Duration: 1.5 hours Overview This webinar will introduce attendees to the Organization of Scientific Area Committees for Forensic Science (OSAC) Registry of Standards, the International Organization…

Data Exchange Practices of Medicolegal Death Investigation

Date December 2022 Overview The National Institute of Justice (NIJ)-in partnership with its Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCOE) at RTI International and the National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-convened a virtual Medicolegal Death…
constellations over glass lab equipment

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

Date November 2022 Overview 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 Laboratory Needs Technology Working Group (FLN-TWG) in 2018. FLN-TWG provides a…

Audio Forensic Analysis Procedures for User Generated Audio Recordings

This webinar originally occurred on November 29, 2022 Duration: 1 hour Overview The widespread use of handheld smartphones and other devices capable of recording audio and video means that user generated recordings (UGRs) are increasingly presented as evidence in criminal…

Cost-Benefit Analysis Tool for Labor Expenditure Associated With Sexual Assault Kit Processing Workflows

Overview Laboratories can use different workflows to process sexual assault kit (SAK) evidence, and the workflow is often selected based on available resources. In an era of constrained local and state budgets, this cost-benefit analysis (CBA) tool provides a critical…

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 Updated: March 2024 Original: 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 medical forensic examinations (SAMFEs). During the SAMFE,…

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…

Risk Management for Forensic Laboratories Webinar Series

Overview This webinar series explores the benefits of using risk-based thinking and risk management principles to assist in managing forensic laboratories. By employing a risk-based approach, laboratory managers better understand their decisions’ effects and impact on laboratory activities. From evaluating…

What Keeps You Awake at Night: Risk, Leading Change, and Challenging Decisions

← Back to Risk Management for Forensic Laboratories Webinar Series This webinar originally occurred on July 26, 2022 Duration: 1 hour Overview In a recent conversation, the Colonel of the Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) asked the presenter, the Director…

Using Risk Management to Optimize Forensic Laboratory Operations

← Back to Risk Management for Forensic Laboratories Webinar Series This webinar originally occurred on June 30, 2022Duration: 1 hour Overview The use of risk management has been historically absent from the management of forensic science laboratories. While ISO 31000…

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…
drugs and border patrol

Narcotic Concealment Methods in U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Emergence of Counterfeit Tablets Containing Fentanyl in the United States

← Back to Unseen Threats Webinar Series This webinar originally occurred on May 26, 2022Duration: 1 hour Overview With nearly 6,000 miles of border to patrol and screening passengers and cargo at over 130 airports, seaports, and land border crossings,…
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 Education Melissa F Fogarty | Center for Forensic Science Research…
pills and IV

Unseen Threats: A Webinar Series from the AAFS Opioids and Emerging Drugs Ad-Hoc Committee

Overview This webinar series is based on the one-day workshop (“Unseen Threats”) that was sponsored by the Opioids and Emerging Drugs Ad-Hoc Committee at the 2022 American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) Annual Meeting. To follow up on this workshop,…
woman sad

Strangulation in Sexual Assault Cases: Considerations for Evidence Collection and Supporting Healing

← Back to 2022 Sexual Assault Awareness Month Webinar Series This webinar originally occurred on April 14, 2022Duration: 1 hour Overview In addition to providing medical care and support to victims of sexual assault, Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANEs) collect…

Pandemic Impacts in the Workplace: Employee Wellness, Returning to the Office, & Remote Testimony

← Back to ASCLD Train the Director Series This webinar originally occurred on April 12, 2022Duration: 1 hour Overview Employers have endured many operational changes due to the pandemic. During the pandemic, employers have faced numerous challenges, such as how…
cog wheels

Sexual Assault Kit Evidence Tracking: The Idaho State Police Forensic Services Experience

← Back to 2022 Sexual Assault Awareness Month Webinar Series This webinar originally occurred on April 7, 2022Duration: 1 hour Overview The Idaho State Police Forensic Services agency has designed a sexual assault kit evidence tracking system to effectively track…
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Application of the OSAC Registry of Standards to Forensic Science Service Providers’ Quality Systems

← Back to ASCLD Train the Director Series This webinar originally occurred on March 31, 2022Duration: 1 hour Overview Since its official inception in 2014, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC) for…
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…
lady justice

2022 Sexual Assault Awareness Month Webinar Series: Exploring Current Trends in Sexual Assault Response

Overview This April, in honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence will be releasing a series of webinars covering topics related to sexual assault response reform. Tune in as our presenters discuss sexual assault kit…
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Just a Trauma-Informed Response to At-Home Sexual Assault Kits

Original Release Date: February 25, 2022 In the final episode of our Perspectives on At-Home Sexual Assault Kits season, Just Science sat down with Natasha Alexenko, Lieutenant Jordan Satinsky, and Marya Simmons to discuss at-home sexual assault kits through a victim-centered…

Virtual Workshop: Understanding Sexual Assault Trauma and Considerations for Conducting a Trauma-Informed Interview

Overview Due to the successful response and engagement received from the Just Science podcast episode titled “Just Trauma-Informed Victim-Centered Interviewing” from the 2021 Research and Considerations for Sexual Assault Cases season, the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) and the Forensic…
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…

U.S. National Footwear Database System Feasibility Study

This webinar originally occurred on February 15, 2022. Duration: 1 hour Overview Shoeprints at crime scenes, along with suspects’ footwear, are routinely collected and analyzed by qualified examiners in crime laboratories and forensic units to identify, include, or exclude suspects’…
gun & evidence

A Unique Approach to a Crime Gun Intelligence Center with the Inclusion and Support of 3D Virtual Comparison Technologies

This webinar originally occurred on February 10, 2022. Duration: 1.5 hours Overview Any effective Crime Gun Intelligence Program relies on the expeditious processing of firearms-related evidence to achieve the goal of intelligence led firearms-based investigations. The possible intelligence gained through…

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…
pipettes and icons

Virtual Workshop: A Discussion on Research and a Multidisciplinary Response to Sexual Assault

Overview The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) and the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCOE) delivered a two-day Virtual Workshop: A Discussion on Research and a Multidisciplinary Response to Sexual Assault on January 26-27, 2022.  The Virtual Workshop: A Discussion on Research…
ammo

Two-Pronged Study of Bullets Fired by Consecutively Rifled Barrels

← Back to Firearm and Toolmarks Webinar Series This webinar originally occurred on December 16, 2021 Duration: 1 hour Overview The 2016 President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) Report brought forensics, and specifically firearms identification, into the…
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Just Workforce Resiliency for Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners Part 2

Original Release Date: November 5, 2021 In episode three of our Workforce Resiliency mini season, Just Science continues our conversation with Dr. Cara Berg Raunick, a women’s health nurse practitioner and the Director of Clinical Quality and Advancement at Health…
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Just Workforce Resiliency for Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners Part 1

Original Release Date: October 29, 2021 In episode two of our Workforce Resiliency mini season, Just Science sat down with Dr. Cara Berg Raunick, a women’s health nurse practitioner and the Director of Clinical Quality and Advancement at Health Care Education and Training,…
US and forensic science disciplines

2021 Forensic Science Research Federal Stakeholders Public Meeting

Overview The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), in partnership with the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCOE), held a Forensic Science Research Federal Stakeholders meeting on November 8, 2021 from 9:00AM…
certificate of death and drugs

Death Certification by the Medical Examiner/Coroner in Drug-Related Deaths

← Back to MDI Webinar Series This webinar originally occurred on November 30, 2021 Duration: 1 hour Overview Considering the steadily rising number of overdose deaths in recent years, public health systems rely on the vital role of medicolegal death…

The Importance of Data to the MDI Community and Stakeholders

← Back to MDI Webinar Series This webinar originally occurred on November 2, 2021 Duration: 1 hour Overview Many stakeholders rely on medicolegal death investigation (MDI) data to support efforts that help save lives and promote justice. These stakeholders include…
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Just a Cost Benefit Analysis of Sexual Assault Investigation

Original Release Date: August 6, 2021 In episode four of our 2021 Research and Considerations for Sexual Assault Cases season, Just Science sat down with Dr. Rachel Lovell, Research Assistant Professor at Case Western Reserve University, and Mary Weston, Assistant…
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Just Trauma-Informed Victim-centered Interviewing

Original Release Date: July 30, 2021 In episode three of our 2021 Research and Considerations for Sexual Assault Cases season, Just Science sat down with Natasha Alexenko, Jordan Satinsky, and Marya Simmons to discuss trauma informed, victim-centered interviewing for sexual assault cases.    A sexual…
United states with money

Federal Forensic Science Research and Development Programs – A 2021 Update

Date June 2021 Overview 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…
a group of people sitting on a video conference

ASCLD Train the Director – Best Practices for Engaging Participants in Video Conferences

← Back to Series  This webinar originally occurred on July 7, 2021 Duration: 1 hour Overview In this webinar, attendees learned a variety of strategies to keep participants engaged in an online meeting environment. First, attendees learned about the importance…
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 Just the Impression and Pattern/Trace Evidence Portfolio

Original Release Date: June 11, 2021 In episode two of our 2021 NIJ R&D and Beyond mini season, Just Science sat down with Dr. Gregory Dutton, a physical scientist in the Office of Investigative and Forensic Sciences at the National Institute of Justice, to discuss NIJ’s Impression, Pattern, and Trace…
A series of digital people

ASCLD Train the Director – Successful Onboarding in Crime Laboratories

← Back to Series This webinar originally occurred on June 16, 2021 Duration: 1 hour Overview Onboarding involves integrating a new employee into your organization. Also known as organizational socialization, onboarding is an important process that sometimes becomes an afterthought…
a firearm with the ASCLD logo

ASCLD Train the Director – Firearms 3D Technology: Advantages and Value for Implementing 3D Technologies 

← Back to Series This webinar originally occurred on June 2, 2021 Duration: 1 hour Overview This presentation demonstrated the effectiveness of integrating 3D technology into the forensic firearms/toolmarks discipline and the decision analysis used for selecting samples for virtual…
People in a laboratory

ASCLD Train the Director – Developing an Unbiased Culture in Your Laboratory

← Back to Series  This webinar originally occurred on May 26, 2021 Duration: 1 hour Overview This webinar facilitated a discussion about bias in a crime laboratory. Questions discussed included: what is bias in forensics? How can it impact your…
DNA strands

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

Date April 2021 Overview 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 convicted…
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Just the DEA National Forensic Laboratory Information System

Original Release Date: March 12, 2021 In episode eight of the 2021 Illicit Substance Use Response season, Just Science interviews DeMia Pressley from the DEA’s Diversion Control Division to discuss the importance of information sharing across law enforcement and public health agencies through…
Bloodstain pattern and a ruler

Lessons Learned from Proficiency Test Results in Bloodstain Pattern Analysis

This webinar originally occurred on April 15th, 2021 Duration: 1 hour Overview The Daubert ruling by the Supreme Court established “the known or potential rate of error” as one of several factors to be used when assessing the scientific reliability…
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…
A series of lightbulbs with the center bulb illuminated.

The ROI from Reducing Turnaround Time for Processing DUI: Drug Cases

Date February 2021 Overview From the opioid crisis to legalization of marijuana to the continuing evolution in the abuse of drugs, the societal costs from substance abuse is extensive. This includes societal costs from treatment, healthcare, lost productivity, death, and…
Scientist working from home

ASCLD Emerging Issues: COVID-19 – Remote Work in the Forensic Lab

← Back to Series  This webinar originally occurred on March 17, 2021 Duration: 1 hour Overview The COVID-19 pandemic has had an immeasurable impact on workplaces around the world. Organizations have had to rapidly implement operational changes in order to…
Person holding vile

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

Date January 2021 Overview 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 to address…

Preemptive Approach to Combatting and Characterizing Emerging Synthetic Opioids

This webinar originally occurred on February 8, 2021 Duration: 1 hour Overview This webinar described how preemptive synthesis and characterization of potent psychoactive substances from the literature can aid forensic scientists in the identification of unknowns appearing in samples emerging…

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

Publication Forensic Science International: Synergy, October 2020 Author Donia P. Slack | RTI International 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…
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Just the Impact of Disturbing Media

Original Release Date: September 3, 2020 In episode eight of our 2020 Digital Evidence season, Just Science interviews Dr. Kathryn Seigfried-Spellar from Purdue University about the impact of disturbing media on forensic professionals. Repeated exposure to violent and graphic media can have long-term negative effects on…
Person holding vile

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

Date August 2020 Overview 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 to a…
image of DNA

PACE™: Rapid and Automated Artifact Identification and Number of Contributor Prediction

This webinar originally occurred on July 28, 2020 Duration: 1 hour Overview The PACE™ software introduces a fully continuous, machine learning tool to the forensic DNA community that enables fast and accurate artifact management and predicts the number of contributors…
hands holding up sign that reads Employee Wellness

ASCLD Emerging Issues: Employee Wellness – Tackling Employee Wellness: The Phoenix Police Department’s Crime Lab Approach

← Back to ASCLD Employee Wellness Series ← Back to Forensic Workforce Resiliency Series This webinar originally occurred on June 18th, 2020 Duration: 1.5 hours Overview Organizations often struggle with building supportive organizational cultures, employee morale, and interpersonal relationships. The…
gloved hand holding up small plastic bag containing white powder

ASCLD Emerging Issues: Employee Wellness – Drug Exposures in the Forensic Laboratory: What We Know, What We Can Learn

← Back to ASCLD Employee Wellness Series This webinar originally occurred on June 25, 2020 Duration: 1.5 hours Overview The recent rise in the illicit trade of highly toxic, synthetic drugs such as fentanyl has introduced a new set of…
Skyline view of Phoenix, AZ

ASCLD Emerging Issues: Employee Wellness – Stress, Vicarious Trauma, and Resiliency for Forensic Science Professionals

← Back to ASCLD Employee Wellness Series ← Back to Forensic Workforce Resiliency Series This webinar originally occurred on June 11, 2020 Duration: 1.5 hours Overview The phenomena of vicarious traumatization, compassion fatigue, and burnout have been described since the…
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.…
dried marijuana plants/ two scientists examining living marijuana plants/ glass test tubes in a machine

The Sequel – Marijuana or Hemp: From Farm Bill to Forensic Analysis

← View the Previous Marijuana or Hemp Webinar This webinar originally occurred on March 25, 2020 Duration: 2 hours Overview Due to the overwhelming attendance and interaction for the first Marijuana or Hemp: From Farm Bill to Forensic Analysis webinar that was…

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

Publication Forensic Science International: Synergy, September 2019 Authors Jeri D. Ropero-Miller | RTI International Paul J. Speaker | John Chambers College of Business & Economics Abstract The November 2017 release of the Council of Economic Advisers’ White House report on…
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Just the NIJ Needs Assessment of Forensic Laboratories and Medical Examiner/Coroner Offices

← Back to Just Science Podcast Original Release Date: January 13, 2020 In episode one of our 2020 Improving the System season, Just Science interviews Dr. Jonathan McGrath, Senior Policy Analyst in the Office of Investigative and Forensic Sciences at the…
A clean laboratory full of glass equipment

ASCLD Train the Director – Toxicology: Instrumentation, Methodology, and Workflows

← Back to Series This webinar originally occurred on February 6, 2020 Duration: 1.5 hours Overview Legacy workflows in toxicology generally involve a drug class screen followed by a gas chromatography/mass spectroscopy (GC/MS) and liquid chromatography mass spectroscopy (LC/MS-MS) confirmation…

2019 National Institute of Justice Forensic Science Research and Development Symposium

Date February 2019 Overview The 2019 National Institute of Justice (NIJ) Forensic Science Research and Development (R&D) Symposium is intended to promote collaboration and enhance knowledge transfer of NIJ-funded research. The NIJ Forensic Science R&D Program funds both basic or…
virtual depiction of DNA strands

ASCLD Train the Director – Investigative Genetic Genealogy: Background and Crime Lab Strategy

← Back to Series This webinar originally occurred on January 23, 2020 Duration: 1.5 hours Overview Investigative Genetic Genealogy is a recently developed technique that generates new leads on previously unsolved cases where DNA from the suspect is present at…
Person typing on a laptop

ASCLD Train the Director – Quality Assurance: Beyond Accreditation

← Back to Series This webinar originally occurred on January 9, 2020 Duration: 1.5 hours Overview Accreditation and quality assurance are two terms that are commonly used within the forensic science community. Many forensic laboratory mission statements incorporate the word…
dried marijuana plants/ two scientists examining living marijuana plants/ glass test tubes in a machine

Marijuana or Hemp: From Farm Bill to Forensic Analysis

This webinar originally occurred on January 15, 2020 Duration: 2 hours Overview Attendees heard from experts in agricultural policy, hemp industry analytical testing, and the DEA Special Testing and Research laboratory to obtain a better understanding of the issues that…
Blood spatter on a white wall

Communicating Conclusions in Bloodstain Pattern Analysis

This webinar originally occurred on December 11, 2019 Duration: 1.5 hours Overview The results of a bloodstain pattern analysis are communicated through written reports and courtroom testimony.  Principles of communication science will be discussed and explained to develop the audience’s…
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UNODC Early Warning Alert System: Forensic Tools for New Psychoactive Substances

← Back to Series  This webinar originally occurred on December 3, 2019 Duration: 1 hour Overview The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Early Warning Advisory (EWA) on new psychoactive substances (NPS) was launched in June 2013 as…
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Forensic Epidemiology: Monitoring Fatal Drug Overdose Trends

← Back to Series  This webinar originally occurred on February 11, 2020 Duration: 1 hour Overview Given the vital role of medical examiners and coroners (ME/C) in recognizing emerging trends in drug overdose deaths, partnering epidemiologists with ME/C offices can…
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Handling Difficult and Disturbing Forensic Cases for Coroners and Medical Examiners

← Back to Series This webinar originally occurred on October 17, 2019 Duration: 1 hour Overview There are over 2000 medical examiner and coroner offices throughout the United States. All are involved in determining the cause and manner of death…

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

Publication Forensic Science International: Synergy, March 2019 Author Heidi Eldridge | RTI International 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…

HHRRC – Building Forensic Capacity Post-Conflict: Lessons from Uganda

← Back to Series This webinar originally occurred on March 28, 2019 Duration: 1.5 hours Overview This presentation introduces research conducted in Uganda at the nexus of forensic science and transitional justice, highlighting a large-scale forensic investigation and human identification…

ASCLD Train the Director – Quality Assurance in the Forensic Laboratory

← Back to Series This webinar originally occurred on February 21, 2019 Duration: 1 hour Overview This course explains transitioning from 17025:2005 to 17025:2017 and the lessons learned. This is the fifth webinar in the ASCLD Train the Director Webinar…

ASCLD Train the Director – NIBIN Challenges and Opportunities

← Back to Series This webinar originally occurred on January 24, 2019 Duration: 1 hour Overview This is the first webinar in the ASCLD Train the Director Webinar Series. Crime Gun Intelligence utilizes evidence-based technology to provide law enforcement a…

ASCLD Train the Director – Digital Forensics: An Overview for the Laboratory Manager

← Back to Series This webinar originally occurred on January 31, 2019 Duration: 1 hour Overview This webinar will provide an overview of the field of digital forensics for the laboratory administrator. This is part of the ASCLD Train the…

Process and Outcome Evaluation of Forensic DNA Unit Efficiency Improvement Program

Date November 2018 Overview 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 justice community.…

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

Date September 2018 Overview The Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCOE) is conducting a landscape study and root cause analysis which seeks to (1) identify factors that may result in potential barriers related to the collection, testing, and uploading of…

Advancing Research Initiatives and Combatting the Human Trafficking Epidemic

This webinar originally occurred on November 1, 2018 Duration: 1 hour Overview Trafficking in persons is a multi-faceted global epidemic which has seen a significant increase in public awareness. However, there is a substantial need to expand capacities and technologies…

Forensic Workforce Resiliency: Vicarious Trauma & Workplace Stress Webinar Series

Overview Professionals throughout the criminal justice system are exposed to the aftermath of violent crime and its victims. These individuals may include forensic nurses, crime scene investigators, forensic practitioners, medicolegal death investigators, and other professionals in related fields. Research has…

The Vicarious Trauma Toolkit – an Evidence-informed Resource for Organizations

← Back to Series This webinar originally occurred on September 13, 2018 Duration: 1.5 hours Overview Vicarious trauma is an occupational challenge for forensic science professionals whose work entails continuous contact with victims of crime and violence, and the analysis…

Conference Proceedings: 2018 Impression Pattern and Trace Evidence Symposium

Date May 2018 Overview From January 22 to 25, 2018, RTI International, the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) and the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCOE) held the 2018 Impression, Pattern and Trace Evidence Symposium (IPTES) in Arlington, VA, to…
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Just Budgets

← Back to Just Science Podcast Original Release Date: May 29, 2017 In the sixth episode of Just Science, guest speaker Dr. Paul Speaker discusses the FORESIGHT program. Dr. Speaker,  an Associate Professor at West Virginia University, will describe how The FORESIGHT program helps crime…

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

Date December 2015 Overview 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…

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

Date January 2017 Overview 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 to internally…

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

Date December 2016 Overview 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 Science…

A Landscape Study of Mobile ID Fingerprint Devices

Date January 2014 Overview 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 survey…

R&D 2014 – Fundamental Forensic Science Research-Part II

Overview This archival portion of the 2014 R&D Seminar Series covers the following presentations: Quantitative Metrics of Friction Ridge Detail Derived from Information Theory by Thomas Busey Definition of the Concept of Sufficiency in Latent Print Examination by Cedric Neumann…

2016 NSAPS Panel 2 – Victim-Centered Approaches

Overview The National Institute of Justice, through its Forensic Technology Center of Excellence hosted “Looking Ahead: The National Sexual Assault Policy Symposium” on September 8-9, 2016, in Washington D.C. The audience learned how first responders such as medical staff, victims’…

2016 NSAPS Panel 1 – Immediate Aftermath of Sexual Assault

Overview The National Institute of Justice, through its Forensic Technology Center of Excellence hosted “Looking Ahead: The National Sexual Assault Policy Symposium” on September 8-9, 2016, in Washington D.C. This panel provided an overview of how a traumatic event like…
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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…