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Policy

Attorney General Backs Forensic Lab Accreditation

by Andrea Widener
December 21, 2015 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 93, ISSUE 49

By 2020, all Department of Justice laboratories must be accredited, and the agency’s attorneys must have forensic evidence tested in accredited labs whenever possible, according to a memo from Attorney General Loretta Lynch earlier this month. Lynch says the department will work to support accreditation in its grants to local, state, and tribal forensic labs. The move is one of the first major steps toward improving forensic science in the U.S. since a 2009 National Academy of Sciences study found little research underlying forensic science. The changes were recommended by the National Commission on Forensic Science, a major policy body created by the Justice Department and NIST two years ago to help improve the practice of forensic science. Digital evidence is exempted from the recommendation.

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