Special Report | Who is accredited to analyze forensic evidence?

Accrediting computer forensic laboratories is a new concept, according to John Neuner, international program manager for the American Society of Crime Lab Directors, Laboratory Accreditation Board of Garner, N.C. The 32-year-old organization conducts accreditation in several areas, such as ballistics and DNA. It added computer forensics just recently.

'The greatest value in accreditation is that it confirms for the laboratory that they're operating in accordance with peer-accepted requirements,' Neuner said.

Three states'New York, Oklahoma and Texas'have passed legislation requiring forensic evidence presented in court to have been processed by an accredited facility, Neuner said. The Texas law includes a temporary exemption for computer forensics, he said, because there just aren't enough accredited facilities to handle all the work.

There are 12 accredited computer forensics labs in the world, all of them in the U.S.:
  • Defense Department, Defense Computer Forensics Laboratory

  • Drug Enforcement Administration Digital Evidence Laboratory

  • North Carolina Bureau of Investigation, Raleigh Crime Laboratory

  • Virginia Department of Forensic Science, Central Laboratory in Richmond

  • Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Tallahassee Regional Crime Laboratory,
  • and the Tampa Bay Regional Crime Laboratory
  • Baltimore County, Md., Police Department

  • North Texas Regional Computer Forensic Laboratory

  • New Hampshire State Police Forensic Laboratory

  • Broward County, Fla., Sheriff's Office*

  • Johnson County, Kan., Sheriff's Office Criminalistics Laboratory*

  • Arlington, Texas, Police Department Crime Laboratory*

  • *Audio and/or video forensics only

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