All About Forensics
A crime laboratory is used for the purpose of examining evidence from criminal cases. There are 350 public crime labs operation divided into the three categories of basic, optional and special forensic science services.
- Physical Science Unit- chemistry (drugs, explosives), physics ( glass scratches), and geology (soil, rocks)
- Biology Unit- bloodstains, body fluids, hair & fiber
- Firearms Unit- rifles, pistols, guns, bullets, cartridge, shells
- Photography/ Documentation Unit- handwriting analysis
- Toxicology- drugs, poison
- Fingerprint Analysis
- Voice print Analysis
- Polygraph Administration- lie detector
- Crime-scene Investigation (evidence collection)
Special Forensic Science Services
- Forensic Pathology- manner of death, conduct an autopsy
- Forensic Anthropology- human skeletal remains
- Forensic Entomology- study of insects
- Forensic Psychiatry- study of human behavior
- Forensic Odontology- study of teeth, jaw, and bite marks
- Forensic Computer Science- examination of digital evidence
- Forensic Engineering- failure analysis, accident reconstruction
Functions of Forensic Scientists
- scientist must be skilled in applying scientific method
- scientist may provide expert court testimony
- scientist must participate in training law enforcement personnel in the proper recognition, collection, and preservation of physical evidence
- CODIS- Combined DNA Index System
- IAFIS- Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System
- NIBIN- National Integrated Ballistics Information Network
- PDQ- Paint Data Query
- SICAR- Shoe Image Capture and Retrieval
Crime Scene and Physical Evidence
Common Types of Physical Evidence
Common types of evidence include body fluids that contain DNA, a murder weapon, casts of footprints or tire prints, blood, semen, saliva, etc.
Examination & Significance of Physical Evidence
Preserving and Recording a Crime Scene
- Secure the scene
- Separate the witnesses
- Scan the scene (photographs)
- Sketch the scene
- Search for evidence (collection)
- Secure collected evidence (packaging)
- Survey the overall crime scene for additional evidence and close up photos
Role of FBI & CSI
Role of FBI
Role of CSI
Careers in Forensic Science
- Arson Investigator
- Computer Forensics Examiner
- DNA Analyst
- Forensic Accountant
- Forensic Anthropologist
- Forensic Autopsy Technician
- Forensic Nurse
- Forensic Pathologist
- Forensic Psychologist
- Medical Examiner
- Forensic Scientist
What Forensic Science is/isn't?
CSI is not Forensics because the crimes they solve are not that easy to solve. They have so much evidence in every show that they can immediately find out who the suspects or injured parties are.
In actual real life, crimes are much harder to solve because people try to get away with crime by not leaving a lot of evidence behind like in the shows where the crime scene is filled with fingerprints and so much evidence.
Fun Facts of Forensics
- Forensic Science wasn't invented by scientist.
- Fingerprints aren't foolproof.
- Bullets aren't foolproof.
- DNA Testing saves lives.
- Teeth are trustworthy in identification.
- Bugs help scientist estimate time of death.
- Dead bodies emit certain smells when they die.
- Deleted computer files aren't always gone.
- There is no perfect piece of evidence.