Pub. date: 2004 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952415 | Print ISBN: 9780761926498 | Online ISBN: 9781412952415| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Crime Laboratory Accreditation
William J. Tilstone
The introduction of fingerprinting to solve crimes, which began at the end of the 19th century, highlighted the reluctance of the police to accept technology and testimony surrounding it as evidence in criminal prosecutions. Yet by the end of the 20th century forensic investigations had come to play a larger and larger role in determining both the guilt and the innocence of the accused and even, in some cases, of those previously convicted. The increasing reliance on technology and laboratory evidence has led to concerns by both prosecutors and defenders about the results produced by forensic science labs. If criminal justice professionals and those who serve on juries lack confidence in the professional operation of these labs, the efforts of scientists and their managers will be meaningless. These concerns have resulted in the accreditation of crime labs to ensure that they are following accepted scientific practices. Accreditation is a process ...