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 Laboratory Needs Technology Working Group (FLN-TWG) in 2018. FLN-TWG provides a forum for which forensic practitioners and researchers can develop coordinated approaches to addressing technology implementation challenges for the forensic science community.

Housed at NIJ and supported by the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCoE), FLN-TWG membership is comprised of crime laboratory directors or managers and academic researchers who meet regularly to share ideas, assess the impact of new technologies on the criminal justice system, and identify paths forward for implementation. The group’s mandate encompasses the full range of needs facing federal, state, local, and tribal jurisdictions; FLN-TWG is designed to clear roadblocks that have prevented broad, successful adoption of promising technologies.

This in-brief provides a summary of FLN-TWG’s goals and outputs of the first meeting and provides a list of programs and resources that can promote technology adoption by crime laboratories.

“I’m very pleased to welcome the newly created working group members and grateful for their willingness to take part in this important endeavor. I look forward to hearing their valuable input and working together toward strengthening the relationship between the Justice Department and forensic science practitioners.”

              —David Muhlhausen, NIJ Director

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Resources

 

ARTICLE: NIJ Supporting Crime Lab Directors and the Formation of the Forensic
Laboratory Needs Technology Working Group, May 29, 2018

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ARTICLE: NIJ Forensic Laboratory Needs Technology Working Group
— Opening a New Channel
to Improve Forensics, August 27, 2018

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Department of Justice Priorities, Forensic Science Policies, and Grant Programs

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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 technology and federal/state requirements 2) exemplary situations that illustrate successful adoption 3) lessons learned and key considerations for mobile instrument implementation 4) comparisons of the capabilities of commercially available breath alcohol instruments.


Report Summary

The goal of this report is to provide the reader with a basic understanding of mobile evidential breath alcohol instruments, as well as their use, benefits, and limitations. The information contained herein is derived from current literature and interviews with both users and technology developers, providing a thorough assessment of the considerations that will impact procurement, training, fielding, and use of mobile evidential breath alcohol instruments. This report also provides suggested methodologies for incorporating a mobile breath alcohol instrument workflow to help establish best practices for investigating alcohol-related driving incidents.

Click here to read the full report