Investigations Behind Bars

Crimes don’t just occur outside the walls of a prison; they take place in correctional facilities as well. To assist officers in investigating crimes behind bars, the Texas Office of Inspector General (OIG) recently provided specialized forensic training to 10 investigators from five regions across Texas. Key topics included evidence screening for biological materials, improvised explosive device awareness, and evidence collection and documentation.

Study Examines the Reliability of Automated Facial Recognition Software

An independent study conducted by Michigan State University (MSU) examined the reliability of automated facial recognition (AFR) software to assist law enforcement in identifying suspects in a simulation of the forensic work done after the Boston Marathon Bombings.

The Birth of Forensic Nursing

How Virginia A. Lynch's determination to stop clinicians from unintentionally obstructing justice inspired a new nursing specialty.

Supreme Court Analyzes Major Fourth Amendment Issues in Dog-Sniff Cases

On October 31, 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in two separate cases from Florida, each presenting a different constitutional issue involved in law enforcement agencies’ use of drug-sniffing canines. The fact that the Court granted certiorari for both cases in the same term and entertained oral arguments for them on the same day caused some pundits to comment that the Court had “gone to the dogs” or had experienced a “dog-day afternoon.” These cases, however, because of the underlying issues involved, were no laughing matter to the law enforcement community.

Training: Bugs, Bones, and Shooting Reconstruction

Two upcoming forensic training programs, "Bugs and Bones" and "Shooting Incident Reconstruction", will be hosted by the Johnson County Sheriff's Office Criminalistics Laboratory in Olathe, Kan.

Differentiating Accidental Trauma vs. Child Abuse

The NIJ, through the National Criminal Justice Reference Service, has made available a new final technical report, "Development of a Surrogate Bruising Detection System to Describe Bruising Patterns Associated with Common Childhood Falls".

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Digital-Image Management at Mass Gravesites

SKELETONIZED REMAINS that were carefully unearthed from the desert sands of Iraq tell their own story: the bones of an adult, still dressed in a woman’s apparel, lie supine. The skull is perforated by a bullet hole. Tucked in the space between the ribs and the left humerus is a much smaller skeleton, bones in the skull un-fused, and the fully clothed body partially swaddled in a blanket.