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 economic costs of the opioid crisis. When corrected for these losses, the annual cost from the opioid crisis leapt nearly 600%. The cost to the criminal justice system was estimated at $8 Billion of which $270 million is borne by crime laboratories. However, laboratory budgets have not grown at a rate capable of meeting this increased demand for forensic science services. The hidden costs of the opioid crisis borne by the forensic crime laboratories comes as funds are diverted in the laboratory to meet the increased demands for services in drug chemistry and toxicology. Dramatic increases in turnaround times across other areas of investigation continue to grow as the crisis accelerates.

Click here to read the full report

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 and qualitative, have been championed, yet amidst the furor over the most “correct” or “accurate” way to present evidence, the perspective of the fact-finder is often lost. Without comprehension, correctness is moot. Unbeknownst to many forensic practitioners, there is a large, though incomplete, body of literature from the cognitive psychology domain that explores the question of what jurors understand when forensic scientists testify. This body of work has begun to test different proposed methods of testimony in an effort to understand which are most effective at communicating the strength of evidence that is intended by the expert. This article is a review of that literature that is intended for the forensic scientist community. Its aim is to educate that community on the findings of completed studies and to identify suggestions for further research that will inform changes in testimony delivery and ensure that any modifications can be implemented with confidence in their effectiveness.

Click here to read the full report

NIJ and Florida International University

Report Date

April 2019

Impact

“I’m impressed with the potential for replacement wet color tests. The multiplexing capabilities have potential to address the challenges field forensics investigators encounter with non-pure, intermixed drugs as well as unknown powders.” —Dr. Michael Buerger, PhD, Professor of Criminal Justice, Bowling Green State University, and former New Hampshire police officer

Click here to read the full report

Links

McCord Laboratory

FTCOE Webinar: Paper Microfluidic Devices for Fieldable Forensic Testing

TEDx talk