Volume 30, Issue 1 (January 1985)
The Capabilities, Uses, and Effects of the Nation's Criminalistics Laboratories
All criminalistics laboratories in the United States were surveyed and asked to provide information about their service characteristics, personnel, evidence caseloads, involvement in research, and opinions concerning the usefulness of forensic science evidence in administration of justice. The data indicate that the rapid expansion of crime laboratory facilities in the 1970s has subsided, but the number of scientific personnel continues to rise. Laboratories appear to be relatively successful in updating and acquiring new scientific instrumentation. Drug and alcohol cases constitute practically two thirds of laboratory caseloads. Laboratories engage in a minimal level of research and writing. Respondents believe forensic science evidence to have the greatest impact in homicide and rape cases at trial and prosecutors and police investigators to have the best understanding of it.