Principal Investigator(s): United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. Bureau of Justice Statistics
This data collection contains data from censuses of publicly funded crime laboratories in 2009. The data were collected to examine change and stability in the operations of crime laboratories serving federal, state, and local jurisdictions. The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) first surveyed forensic crime laboratories in 1998, focusing solely on agencies that performed DNA analysis. The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) funded the 1998 study as part of its DNA Laboratory Improvement Program. The BJS' National Study of DNA Laboratories was repeated in 2001. An expanded version of the data collection, called the Census of Publicly Funded Forensic Crime Laboratories, was first conducted among all forensic crime laboratories in 2002. For the 2009 study, data were collected from 2010 to 2011 on the organization, functions, budget, staffing, workload, and performance expectations of the nation's forensic crime laboratories operating in 2009. A total of 397 of the 411 eligible crime laboratories operating in 2009 responded to the census, including at least 1 laboratory from every state. The nation's publicly funded forensic crime laboratories performed a variety of forensic services in 2009, including DNA testing and controlled substance identification for federal, state, and local jurisdictions. The 2009 Census of Publicly Funded Forensic Crime Laboratories obtained detailed information on the types of forensic requests received by these laboratories and the resources needed to complete them. The census also collected data on crime laboratory budgets, personnel, accreditations, and backlogged cases.
These data are freely available.
United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. Bureau of Justice Statistics. Census of Publicly Funded Forensic Crime Laboratories, 2009. ICPSR34340-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2012-11-26. doi:10.3886/ICPSR34340.v1
Persistent URL: http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR34340.v1
This study was funded by:
- United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. Bureau of Justice Statistics
Scope of Study
Smallest Geographic Unit: United States
Geographic Coverage: United States
Unit of Observation: crime laboratory
Universe: Publicly funded federal, state, and local forensic crime laboratories currently operating in United States.
Data Types: survey data
Data Collection Notes:
Data were reformatted for best fit.
The study was conducted by the Urban Institute.
Sample: No sampling was done because all available crime laboratories operating in the United States were contacted. The census population frame and questionnaire were developed by BJS and the Urban Institute with input from the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors (ASCLD), as well as researchers and practitioners in the forensic science field. The data collection instrument was pretested on a small sample of labs representing facilities of different sizes and governmental affiliations. The Urban Institute conducted the census through a mailed questionnaire and a web-based data collection interface. Follow-up phone calls and emails were made to nonrespondents and labs that submitted incomplete questionnaires. In addition, ASCLD encouraged labs to participate through announcements in its newsletter. A shorter form with basic census items was sent to 12 nonresponding labs in a final effort to improve response rates. Overall, 97 percent (or 397) of the 411 eligible labs submitted responses to the 2009 census, including 375 through the automated web system and 22 by mail, fax, or email.
Mode of Data Collection: self-enumerated questionnaire
Response Rates: A shorter form with basic census items was sent to 12 nonresponding labs in a final effort to improve response rates. Overall, 97 percent (or 397) of the 411 eligible labs submitted responses to the 2009 census, including 375 through the automated web system and 22 by mail, fax, or email.
- Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.
Original ICPSR Release: 2012-11-26
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