Utter silence from over 400 individual US crimes labs after @PCAST forensic report

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The US crime lab communities that receive public funding were said to number over 400 (see below) in the 2009 Bureau of Justice Statistics report. 

Its striking to me that NOTHING has been in the news about what they think (or have been asked) about the President’s Council legitimate findings on moving these government labs towards a greater focus on scientific methods.  Its mostly been a few talking heads from the prosecutor culture.

I think the news media doesn’t give a poo about it. Old news. Uh Oh. I found a………..

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Here’s one about “Raging Debate in Forensic Science.” It does have some crime labber quotes about how they are finally processing old rape kits in Ohio. The lede story is about Ray Krone’s bitemark case.

[excerpt from William Thompson at UC Irvine. He is an ex-FBI forensics guy. Hint: No issues about governmental employment biases.]

“In the environment where a state crime lab is part of law enforcement there can be pressures to help the team,” said William Thompson, a criminology and law professor at UC Irvine. “And there have been cases around the country where a scientist views themselves as part of the prosecutor’s team. That’s why it’s so important to implement procedures to prevent bias.”


Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)

August 2, 2012    NCJ 238252

Presents data on the more than 400 state, municipal, county, and federal crime laboratories operating in the United States during 2009. The nation’s publicly funded forensic crime labs perform a variety of services, such as DNA tests, controlled substance analyses, and latent fingerprint examinations. This report examines crime lab personnel, budgets, workloads, and other administrative information, including backlogs in requests for forensic services. The report also offers information on laboratory accreditations, proficiency tests, and other quality assurances. It provides a comparative analysis with findings from censuses conducted in 2002 and 2005.


  • During 2009, the 411 federal, state, county and municipal labs operating that year received over 4 million requests for a wide range of forensic services.
  • At the end of 2009, the nations publicly funded crime labs had an estimated backlog of 1.2 million requests for forensic services, which was relatively unchanged from the backlog at yearend 2008.
  • Between 2002 and 2009, the percentage of publicly funded crime labs that were accredited by a professional forensic science organization increased from 71% to 83%.
  • Publicly funded crime labs employed an estimated 13,100 full-time personnel in 2009an increase from about 11,000 in 2002.
  • The estimated budget for all publicly funded crime labs in 2009 was about $1.6 billion compared to the $1.0 billion budget for labs in 2002.

Part of the Census of Publicly Funded Forensic Crime Laboratories Series

About csidds

Dr. Michael Bowers is a long time forensic consultant in the US and international court systems.
This entry was posted in criminal justice, criminal justice reform, CSI and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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