Pub. date: 2002 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412950664 | Print ISBN: 9780761922582 | Online ISBN: 9781412950664| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Jay A. Siegel
Criminalistics is the largest and most diverse branch of forensic science. In fact, many people use the terms criminalistics and forensic science interchangeably. In California, the major forensic scientists organization is the California Association of Criminalists. It is so called because a California professor, Paul Kirk, a pioneer of forensic science in the United States, coined the term criminalistics to describe the scientific analysis of crime scene evidence. Outside of California, most scientists in this field call themselves “forensic scientists” and consider criminalistics and forensic science to be different. Criminalistics can be defined as the application of scientific methods to the recognition, collection, identification, and comparison of physical evidence generated by illegal civil activity. It also involves the reconstruction of such activity by evaluation of the physical evidence and the crime scene. The majority of cases where such evidence is generated involve criminal activity. Marijuana and Paraphernalia Just as there ...