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Survey of Forensic Service Providers

The Bureau of Justice Statistics has conducted two censuses on forensic laboratories; while this information has its uses, it is a partial perspective on the forensic industry. Two surveys focusing on non-laboratory forensic service providers (such as fingerprint units in police agencies which are outside the forensic laboratory system as defined by the BJS Census) have been conducted by BBER through funding from the Forensic Science Initiative. The first survey mirrored the Census questions but targeted the ignored portion of the forensic industry identified through a membership list from a relevant professional organization (the International Association for Identification or IAI). In conjunction with the Census, this survey will provide a more complete view of what forensic work is done, where it is conducted, and who performs it. The second survey, conducted through a listing of U.S. members of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), delves into a grayer area, capturing those who perform forensic services but are not members of the IAI (the largest membership organization for these professional functions).