Expert Panel Takes Look at Crime Lab Backlogs, Impact on Justice

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Leaders from government, academia and RTI International will explore the key factors that contribute to backlogs at our nation’s crime laboratories, as well as the impact they have on the efficiency of our criminal justice system, at a policy forum at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., May 21.

“The Census of Publicly Funded Crime Laboratories, funded by the Department of Justice and established in 2002, has systematically measured the backlog problem only to find that backlogs have increased despite federal funding aimed at fixing the problem,” said John Collins, forensic science policy and management advisor at RTI. “Many laboratories have been unable to secure the resources needed to resolve the problem due to the fiscal challenges faced by most U.S. government agencies.”

The policy forum, titled “Crime Laboratory Backlogs: The Impact on Justice,” will be held from 8:30 – 10 a.m. and is being hosted by RTI.

The panel includes Collins; Gerry LaPorte, acting director, Office of Investigative and Forensic Sciences at the National Institutes of Justice; Paul Speaker, Ph.D., faculty member in the West Virginia University Finance Department; Blair Bjellos, legislative assistant to U.S. Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX), and Kevin Strom, Ph.D., senior research scientist at RTI.

Jim Gibson, executive vice president and chief operating officer at RTI, will welcome the program. Beth Kroupa, forensic science policy and management advisor at RTI, will moderate the program.

To attend this policy forum, please register here. More information on the event can be found here.