Monday, October 2, 2006
The American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors (ASCLD) is holding its 34th Annual Workshop and Symposium, "Practical Issues Facing Crime Laboratory Managers: Managing the Technical Side of Forensics," Tues, Oct. 3 through Thurs., Oct. 5 at the San Francisco Marriott.
A common challenge facing all crime lab directors is how to manage the increasing forensic evidence backlogs -- including fingerprints, controlled substances, trace evidence, DNA and toxicology. At last check, the largest 50 laboratories in the U.S. more than doubled their backlogs of unprocessed evidence. "Most crime labs in our country are located in aging facilities, face growing backlogs, lack equipment, and are not fully staffed...Most forensic funding is going to DNA-only, and we need to change this or everything else suffers," says Earl Wells, President of ASCLD. The issue of funding forensic science is currently in discussion between U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives negotiators, as part of the federal government's criminal justice budget for next year.
The symposium is being sponsored by Marshall University, a member of the Forensic Resource Network, through its cooperative agreement with the National Institute of Justice. More information. . . [Michele Berry]