Forensic Technology Center of Excellence

Special Initiatives

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,…
Skyline view of Phoenix, AZ

Stress, Vicarious Trauma, and Resiliency for Forensic Science Professionals

– ← Back to Series  Thursday, June 11th, 2020 1:00:00 PM ET – 2:30:00 PM ET Duration: 1 hour and 30 minutes The phenomena of vicarious traumatization, compassion fatigue, and burnout have been described since the mid 1980’s, roughly coinciding…
microphone and headphones

Just Applied Leadership for Resiliency in CSIs

 In this special release episode of Just Science, we sat down with Ashley Church and Erin West, founders of Gap Science, to discuss stress and resiliency in crime scene investigators.  Traumatic death investigation can have adverse, long-term effects on crime scene analysts.  As Ashley Church and Erin West moved through…
microphone and headphones

Just COVID-19: The Impact to Supporting Victims of Sexual Assault

Overview This week on Just Science, we are publishing a special release episode in honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Social distancing, shelter in place, and other responses to COVID-19 can create a stressful environment for survivors of sexual assault…

Humanitarian and Human Rights Resource Center Special Initiative

Description The Humanitarian and Human Rights Resource Center (HHRRC) seeks to utilize the assets of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) to promote the application of contemporary forensic science and forensic medicine principles to global humanitarian and/or human rights…

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…
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…
virtual depiction of DNA strands

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

← Back to Series  Thursday, January 23rd, 2020 1:00:00 PM ET – 2:30:00 PM ET Duration: 1.5 hour(s) Investigative Genetic Genealogy is a recently developed technique that generates new leads on previously unsolved cases where DNA from the suspect is…
Person typing on a laptop

ASCLD Train the Director Series – Quality Assurance: Beyond Accreditation

← Back to Series  Thursday, January 9th, 2020 1:00:00 PM ET – 2:30:00 PM ET Duration: 1.5 hour(s) Accreditation and quality assurance are two terms that are commonly used within the forensic science community. Many forensic laboratory mission statements incorporate…
scientist measuring bruises under blue and green lights

Detection and Visibility of Bruises Using Alternate Light: From Science to Practice

Wednesday, October 30th, 2019 1:00:00 PM ET – 2:00:00 PM ET Duration: 1 hour(s) Bruising is one of the most common types of soft tissue injury noted on victims of violence, including those suffering intimate partner violence, sexual assault, child…
five scientists having a discussion behind glass

Handling Difficult and Disturbing Forensic Cases for Coroners and Medical Examiners

← Back to Series  Thursday, October 17th, 2019 1:00:00 PM ET – 2:00:00 PM ET Duration: 1 hour(s) There are over 2000 medical examiner and coroner offices throughout the United States. All are involved in determining the cause and manner…
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…

Special Release: Just the Census of Medical Examiners and Coroners

<<< back to all podcasts Just the Census of Medical Examiners and Coroners In this special release episode, Just Science interviews Dr. Hope Smiley-McDonald and Connor Brooks about the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ Census of Medical Examiners and Coroners. The…

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…
old hand holding young hand

Cradle to Cane: Investigation of Crimes Against Vulnerable Victims

Overview: The original recordings took place March 21-23, 2017. In 2017, the National Institute of Justice, Charleston Southern University, the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence, and the Shaken Baby Alliance worked together to create and host “From Cradle to Cane: Investigation of Crimes Against Vulnerable Victims.” This…

Online Workshop Series: Probabilistic Genotyping Of Evidentiary DNA Typing Results

Overview The Federal Bureau of Investigation Laboratory has partnered with the National Institute of Justice’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence to create a series of online workshops aimed at increasing knowledge, understanding, and the reliable application of probabilistic genotyping to…

Neurophysiology and Overcoming Trauma: Understanding Individual Challenges

Tuesday, April 30, 2019 1:00:00 PM ET – 2:30:00 PM ET Duration: 1.5 hour(s) This webinar explores how personal experiences and unique traumas create commonly felt physical symptoms and investigates how the brain functions reflect a reaction to danger, an…

Identification: Just the Double Loop Podcast Crossover

<<< back to all podcasts Just the Double Loop Podcast Crossover In episode nine of the Identification season, Just Science sits down with Heidi Eldridge, from RTI international, along with Eric Ray and Glenn Langenburg, the co-hosts of the Double Loop Podcast, to discuss the…

Building Forensic Capacity Post-Conflict: Lessons from Uganda

← Back to Series  Thursday, March 28, 2019 2:00:00 PM ET – 3:30:00 PM ET Duration: 1.5 hour(s) This presentation introduces research conducted in Uganda at the nexus of forensic science and transitional justice, highlighting a large-scale forensic investigation and…

The Time to Collect is Now: DNA Evidence in Groping Sexual Assault Cases

Wednesday, February 27, 2019 2:00 PM ET – 3:30 PM ET Duration: 1.5 hour(s) Improving the overall response to sexual assault includes understanding how touch DNA evidence impacts groping sexual assault cases. This webinar will illustrate the importance of these…

Forensic Advancement: Just Transparency in Public Communications

<<< back to all podcasts Just Transparency in Public Communications In episode nine of the Forensic Advancement season, Just Science interviews Ramit Plushnick-Masti, Director of Communications for the Houston Forensic Science Center, concerning the role of transparency in the forensics…

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…

Advancing Research Initiatives and Combatting the Human Trafficking Epidemic

Thursday, November 1, 2018 1:00 PM ET – 2:00 PM ET Duration: 1 hour(s) 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…

New SWGDAM Recommendations on Communicating Likelihood Ratios

Thursday, October 18, 2018 1:00:00 PM ET – 3:00:00 PM ET Duration: 2 hour(s) SWGDAM recently issued recommendations on genotyping results reported as likelihood ratios, designed to promote consistency among laboratories. Members of the committee will discuss the recommendations and…

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…

Forensic Workforce Resiliency: Vicarious Trauma & Workplace Stress Webinar Series

Description 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…

3D-ID-Geometric Morphometric Classification of Crania for Forensic Scientists Software Best Practices

Thursday, August 16, 2018 1:00 PM ET – 2:00 PM ET Duration: 1 hour(s) Attendees will be introduced to the new features of the new software release, how to maximize results, and how to best interpret results for forensic casework…

Webinar: Identifying Seized Drugs using Mass Spectral Library Searching

 Tuesday, August 7th, 2018 1:00:00 PM ET – 2:00:00 PM ET Duration: 1 hour(s) The rapid spread of designer drugs has introduced significant identification challenges to the forensic science community. This webinar discusses how Mass Spectrometry and the “Hybrid Search”…

Webinar: Transition to Impact – Bringing Research to Practice [ARCHIVAL]

Enabling great research to have impact in the forensics community requires transitioning knowledge from the lab to the market. Come learn about the steps you can take to improve the likelihood of your research impacting practice. Technology and knowledge transition…

Evaluate Population-Specific Sibship During Kinship Analysis

← Back to Series  – This webinar will provide an overview of what kinship analysis programs are currently in use and will provide an in-depth analysis of how population-based allele frequency databases impact sibship determination. Kinship analysis of short tandem…

Evaluating the Use of DNA Analysis for Family Reunification

← Back to Series  DNA analysis allows for testing relationships (kinship) between two individuals in situations that vary from legal immigration to claimed parentage testing. This webinar focuses on the applicability of DNA testing for family reunification. Biometrics refers to…

Cost-Benefit Analysis of Kinship Testing Involving Siblings

← Back to Series  This webinar aims to improve the knowledge on kinship testing involving siblings and provides a cost-benefit analysis of practices involving the use of additional reference siblings and substitution of half-siblings for full siblings in kinship tests.…

2018 IPTES Plenary – Closing Keynote Speaker Adam Benforado

IPTES was designed to bring together practitioners and researchers to enhance information-sharing and promote collaboration among the impression, pattern, and trace evidence analysts, law enforcement, and legal communities. This original Live Webinar took place on 01/25/2018. The National Institute of…

2018 IPTES – Trace Evidence Breakout Day 2 PM

IPTES was designed to bring together practitioners and researchers to enhance information-sharing and promote collaboration among the impression, pattern, and trace evidence analysts, law enforcement, and legal communities. This original Live Webinar took place on 01/25/2018. The National Institute of…

2018 IPTES – Trace Evidence Breakout Day 2 AM – Part 2

IPTES was designed to bring together practitioners and researchers to enhance information-sharing and promote collaboration among the impression, pattern, and trace evidence analysts, law enforcement, and legal communities. This original Live Webinar took place on 01/25/2018. The National Institute of…

2018 IPTES – Trace Evidence Breakout Day 2 AM – Part 1

IPTES was designed to bring together practitioners and researchers to enhance information-sharing and promote collaboration among the impression, pattern, and trace evidence analysts, law enforcement, and legal communities. This original Live Webinar took place on 01/25/2018. The National Institute of…

2018 IPTES – Impression & Pattern Breakout – Day 2 PM

IPTES was designed to bring together practitioners and researchers to enhance information-sharing and promote collaboration among the impression, pattern, and trace evidence analysts, law enforcement, and legal communities. This original Live Webinar took place on 01/25/2018. The National Institute of…

2018 IPTES – Impression & Pattern Breakout Day 2 AM – Part 2

IPTES was designed to bring together practitioners and researchers to enhance information-sharing and promote collaboration among the impression, pattern, and trace evidence analysts, law enforcement, and legal communities. This original Live Webinar took place on 01/25/2018. The National Institute of…

2018 IPTES – Impression & Pattern Breakout Day 2 AM – Part 1

IPTES was designed to bring together practitioners and researchers to enhance information-sharing and promote collaboration among the impression, pattern, and trace evidence analysts, law enforcement, and legal communities. This original Live Webinar took place on 01/25/2018. The National Institute of…

2018 IPTES – Trace Evidence Breakout Day 1 PM

IPTES was designed to bring together practitioners and researchers to enhance information-sharing and promote collaboration among the impression, pattern, and trace evidence analysts, law enforcement, and legal communities. This original Live Webinar took place on 01/24/2018. The National Institute of…

2018 IPTES – Impression & Pattern Breakout Day 1 PM

IPTES was designed to bring together practitioners and researchers to enhance information-sharing and promote collaboration among the impression, pattern, and trace evidence analysts, law enforcement, and legal communities. This original Live Webinar took place on 01/24/2018. The National Institute of…

2018 IPTES Plenary – Statistics & Testimony From Practitioner

IPTES was designed to bring together practitioners and researchers to enhance information-sharing and promote collaboration among the impression, pattern, and trace evidence analysts, law enforcement, and legal communities.This original Live Webinar took place on 01/24/2018. The National Institute of Justice…

2018 IPTES Plenary – Opening Remarks & Statistical Approaches

IPTES was designed to bring together practitioners and researchers to enhance information-sharing and promote collaboration among the impression, pattern, and trace evidence analysts, law enforcement, and legal communities. This original Live Webinar took place on 01/24/2018. The National Institute of…

Webinar: A Close Look at 3D Microscopy for Firearms Identification [Archival]

Firearms identification is undergoing a major change in capability with the adoption of optical topography, which provides a 3D view of the surface of a bullet or cartridge case to capture the full range of subclass and individual characteristics. The…

Making The Case For Prevention: Fighting The Opioid Epidemic

← Back to Series  This webinar focuses on universal and primary prevention efforts to address prescription drug misuse and abuse; and the use of innovative analytic techniques to evaluate their effectiveness. The current response to the opioid epidemic has appropriately…

Fentalogs – Pharmacology, Toxicology & Analytical Approaches

← Back to Series  We will review the chemistry of fentanyl, its analogs and precursors, their pharmacology and relative potency, and approaches to identifying novel fentanyl analogs in forensic toxicology casework. Fentanyl and its analogs, sometimes called “The Fentalogs”, are…

Identify Synthetic Opioids using Ambient Ionization TOF-MS

← Back to Series  This webinar will present the results of the evaluation of Direct Sample Analysis Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry to provide rapid identification of eighteen fentanyl analogs and related synthetic opioid. As of March 2016, the Drug Enforcement Administration…

HHRRC Webinar Series: Stable Isotope Forensics & Unknown Persons Investigations

← Back to Series  Wednesday, May 24, 2017, 1:00:00 PM ET – 3:00:00 PM ET This webinar discussed applications of stable isotope analysis for predicting region of origin of unidentified border crossers found within the United States. Participants will understand…

HHRRC Webinar Series: Analysis and Conservation of Human Remains in Cambodia

← Back to Series  Original Webinar took Place on Tuesday, May 16th, 2020 This presentation provides an introduction to the work conducted in Cambodia to analyze/preserve human remains from violence committed by the Khmer Rouge. Specifically the site of Krang…

ASCLD Webinar Series: DNA Standards and Guidelines Part 1

This webinar was targeted to DNA Supervisors, DNA Technical Leaders, Quality Mangers, and DNA Analysts. There was also a question and answer period after the presentation. Forensic DNA Analysis, and in particular interpreting complex DNA mixtures and calculating statistics, can…

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,…

Genome ID Forum 2014 – Legal Perspective on the Adoption of Advanced Technologies

Originally presented at the 2014 Genome ID Forum, Ted Hunt, chief trial attorney in the prosecuting attorney’s office in Kansas City, Missouri, brings a fresh legal perspective to addressing the adoption of advanced DNA analysis technologies for forensic crime laboratories. In…

Latent Fingerprints: Reducing Erroneous Exclusions

This presentation discusses reducing erroneous exclusions in latent fingerprints. The exclusion decision is a fairly recent change in latent print comparisons, and the discipline is still struggling with how to handle exclusions. Erroneous exclusions are being discovered with surprising frequency…

Familial DNA Searching: Current Approaches – Part IV

This four-part panel discussion series will elucidate the current landscape of policies and procedures addressing familial DNA searching. Part IV In this particular session, the discussion focused around current technical protocols including software considerations, candidate thresholds derived by likelihood ratio…

Familial DNA Searching: Current Approaches – Part III

This four-part panel discussion series will elucidate the current landscape of policies and procedures addressing familial DNA searching. Part III In this particular session, the discussion focused around the process of investigative follow up from these leads including costs and…

Familial DNA Searching: Current Approaches – Part II

This four-part panel discussion series will elucidate the current landscape of policies and procedures addressing familial DNA searching. Part II In this particular session, the discussion topic was focused around current existing protocols and specifically address questions such as: what…

Familial DNA Searching: Current Approaches – Part I

This four-part panel discussion series will elucidate the current landscape of policies and procedures addressing familial DNA searching. Part I These discussions were used to generate a report designed to educate legal professionals, policy makers, law enforcement and forensic laboratory…

ASCLD Webinar Series: FBI Allele Frequency – Managers & Legal Overview

Crime Laboratories have earned a position of public trust over time through providing reliable quality results. Keeping public trust includes being self-correcting once an issue is discovered. The Federal Bureau of Investigation allele frequency amendments is an opportunity to demonstrate…

ASCLD Webinar Series: FBI Allele Frequency Amendments – Technical Discussion

Crime Laboratories have earned a position of public trust over time through providing reliable quality results. Keeping public trust includes being self-correcting once an issue is discovered. The Federal Bureau of Investigation allele frequency amendments is an opportunity to demonstrate…

Genome ID Forum 2014 – Applications of Emerging Technologies NIST

Originally presented at the 2014 Genome ID Forum, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) SRMs includes the PCR based DNA profiling standard which covers 51 autosomal and 17 Y chromosome markers, mitochondrial DNA sequencing standards and the human…

2016 NSAPS Panel 2 – Victim-Centered Approaches

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’ advocates,…

2016 NSAPS Panel 1 – Immediate Aftermath of Sexual Assault

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 sexual…