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Forensic Science and the Administration of Justice

Forensic Science and the Administration of Justice
Critical Issues and Directions

First Edition
Edited by:

April 2014 | 312 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Uniting forensics, law, and social science in meaningful and relevant ways, Forensic Science and the Administration of Justice is structured around current research on how forensic evidence is being used and how it is impacting the justice system. This unique book—written by nationally known scholars in the field—includes five sections that explore the demand for forensic services, the quality of forensic services, the utility of forensic services, post-conviction forensic issues, and the future role of forensic science in the administration of justice. The authors offer policy-relevant directions for both the criminal justice and forensic fields and demonstrate how the role of the crime laboratory in the American justice system is evolving in concert with technological advances as well as changing demands and competing pressures for laboratory resources.
Section I. The Demand for Forensic Services
Joseph L. Peterson
Chapter 1. A Historical Review of the Demand for Forensic Evidence

Estimating the Demand for Forensic Evidence

What Is Physical Evidence and What Can It Tell Us?

Physical Evidence Presence--Historical Indicators

Macro Forces Influencing Utilization Patterns

Crime Laboratory Census Results

Up-to-Date Utilization Patterns From the "Role and Impact" Study



Rachel Dioso-Villa
Chapter 2. Is There Evidence of a "CSI Effect"?

CSI's Depictions of Forensic Science

Cultivation Theory

Typology of CSI Effects Found in Media Accounts

Evidence of the CSI Effect

The Perceived CSI Effect

Juror Expectations and Their Understanding of Forensic Science

What Can Be Done?



Matthew J. Hickman and Kevin J. Strom
Chapter 3. What We Know (and Don't Know) About Evidence Backlogs

What Is a "Backlog"?

What Are the Sources of Backlog?

What Do We "Know" About the Nature and Scope of Forensic Backlog?

The Problem of Artificial Backlog

Do Backlogs Represent Justice Delayed and Justice Denied, or Simply Justice "Satisficed"?


Section II. The Quality of Forensic Services
Barry A. J. Fisher
Chapter 4. Adopting a Research Culture in the Forensic Sciences

Why a Research Culture Does Not Currently Exist in the Forensic Sciences

Recent Developments in the Forensic Sciences

Factors Affecting the Admissibility of Forensic Science

Contemporary Challenges Facing Forensic Science


Reinoud D. Stoel, Charles E. H. Berger, Wim Kerkhoff, Erwin J. A. T. Mattijssen, and Itiel E. Dror
Chapter 5. Minimizing Contextual Bias in Forensic Casework

Historical Background

Psychological Background

Levels of Contextual Information

How to Deal With Contextual Information

Outlook and Conclusion


Jay Siegel
Chapter 6. A Survey of Ethical Issues in the Forensic Sciences

Discussion of Ethical Issues

Toward a National Code of Ethics in Forensic Science

Section III. The Utility of Forensic Services
Sally Kelty, Roberta Julian, and Robert Hayes
Chapter 7. The Impact of Forensic Evidence on Criminal Justice: Evidence From Case-Processing Studies

The Impact of Forensic Evidence (FE) on Solvability and Case-Processing Outcomes: Evidence From the Literature

Conceptual Framework and Case-Processing Model of Critical Decisions and Leakage Points in Homicide Cases: Findings From the Effectiveness of Forensic Science in the Criminal Justice System (EFS) Project




Michael D. White, Andrea R. Borrego, and David A. Schroeder
Chapter 8. Assessing the Utility of DNA Evidence in Criminal Investigations

Empirical Evidence on the Utility of DNA Evidence in Criminal Investigations

Explanatory Frameworks for Understanding Law Enforcement's Use of DNA Evidence



Nina W. Chernoff
Chapter 9. Forensic Science: The Prosecutor's Role

The Rules That Govern Prosecutors' Use of Forensic Evidence

Why the Rules Do Not Produce Prosecutors Who Are Honest About the Reliability of Forensic Evidence

The Need for Accuracy Advocates



Section IV. Post-Conviction Issues
John M. Collins Jr.
Chapter 10. The Problems and Challenges of Evidence Retention


Safe and Secure Facilities

Inventory and Disposition

Forensic Testing

Jurisdictional Case Management



Kristen Skogerboe
Chapter 11. Innovation, Success, Error, and Confidence in Forensic DNA Testing

History of DNA and Its Application in Criminal Justice

The Role of DNA in Highlighting Limitations in Other Forensic Disciplines

The Intersection of Success, Innovation, and Risk of Error in DNA Testing

The Road to Testing and Exonerations: DNA From a Chemist's Perspective

Innovation, Challenges, and Emerging Issues in Forensic DNA Testing

Achieving and Maintaining Confidence With a Research Mentality and Quality Assurance


Section V. The Future Role of Forensic Science in the Administration of Justice
Max M. Houck and Paul J. Speaker
Chapter 12. Developing New Business Models for Forensic Laboratories

Economic Foundations

Metrics and Measurement

A Balanced View

Efficiency and Cost-Effectiveness

Identifying the Best Business Models for Forensic Laboratories



Kevin J. Strom and Matthew J. Hickman
Chapter 13. Rethinking the Role of the Crime Laboratory in Criminal Justice Decision Making

The Changing Role of the Crime Laboratory

Laboratory Decision Making

Promising Examples of Crime Laboratory Decision-Making Policies



Walter F. Rowe
Chapter 14. The Future of Forensic Science

Technological Developments

Administrative Changes in Forensic Science

Forensic Science Education



About the Editors
About the Contributors

Great for additional resources.

Miss Nicole Waters
Accounting , New College Durham
September 12, 2016

Useful as a great teacher resource to present back to students.

Miss Nicole Waters
Accounting , New College Durham
June 27, 2016

This book contains two excellent chapters that are relevant to this course. The first is on bias, and this has been added to the syllabus for the first time this academic year. It is very useful to have a concise chapter that the students can read as an introduction to the area. The other useful chapter for this course is the one on ethics in forensic science. We are preparing our students for roles as practitioners, therefore they should be aware of, and prepared for, any ethical issues they may encounter in their work.

Dr Hilary Hamnett
College of Medical, Veterinary & Life, Glasgow University
December 1, 2015

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1

For instructors

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