Crime Labs: Victims of Success

The hit television series “CSI” performs miracles of forensic science every week, solving complex crimes in each one-hour episode. The real world is a little different: Across the country, crime labs are drowning in backlogged cases. Forensic science has become so good at identifying perpetrators that today’s crime lab reports often play a critical role in helping to convict or clear a suspect. The result of this success is that every crime scene is now producing vast quantities of fingerprints, fibers, and DNA, all of which must be analyzed by crime labs that are often facing a months-long backlog.

Maintaining the integrity of the evidence while it awaits analysis is vital to an accurate forensic result. Contaminated DNA or smudged fingerprints can ruin a case. This is where a professionally designed storage system can support the efforts of overworked CSI professionals, and it’s a design niche that requires specialists. Writing in Forensic Magazine, Susan Halla and Cy Henningsen outline some of the storage options for keeping evidence safely stored until the lab technicians can analyze it:


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