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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…

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…

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…