DOJ Request for Input on Advancing Forensic Science

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Source:  Betty Layne DesPortes, JD, MS, AAFS President

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has requested public comment on how the Department should move forward to evaluate and improve the underlying science of forensic evidence, improve the operational management systems of forensic science service providers, and improve the understanding of forensic science by legal practitioners.

The AAFS Board of Directors will submit a general statement concerning our priorities in strengthening forensic science, such as the promotion of standards, research support, accreditation and certification, and full funding for the provision of forensic science services. The statement from the Board will be posted on our AAFS website upon submission to the DOJ.

The Board also encourages all members of the Academy to submit comments to the DOJ on methods to advance forensic science that provide more detailed and direct recommendations based upon experience. Members who have served on, or worked with, any of the federal initiatives (e.g., the National Commission on Forensic Science (NCFS) and/or the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC)) are especially encouraged to provide comment on the value of those initiatives.

Written comments should be submitted through by June 9, 2017 (enter “advancing forensic science” in the search box). Reference “Docket No. OLP 160” on your submission.

Please feel free to mention your membership status and section in the Academy to ensure the DOJ appreciates the commitment of Academy members to our mission of advancing science and its application to the legal system.