Forensic Database

The forensic research database helps you find thousands of resources about forensic science & technology, the law of scientific evidence & expert witnesses, and more. Find:

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Check out records about law enforcement technology in NCSTL's forensic database... learn more

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Better than a general search engine, the unique database instantly pinpoints focused results about forensic science & criminal justice.

Top Forensic News Story

What's New At NCSTL ... is used as a resource in over 170 countries

The newest round of Draft Documents from the National Commission on Forensic Science is posted on the website. The documents are available for public comments which are due by May 15, 2015.
View draft documents: Access to All Documents Presentation: Carol Henderson presented "How to Produce 'Courtroom Ready' Forensic Scientists" at the ASCLD Meeting in Washington, D.C. on April 29, 2015.

What's new in ...

Science: New initiative to strengthen/enhance the practice of forensic science established: National Commission on Forensic Science and NIST Forensic Sciences - Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC).

Technology: One in Every 3 Top Websites is Compromised and Dangerous. The Web is a more dangerous place than most people may think. With more than one billion websites now living on the Internet and over 100,000 websites created daily, the risk from vulnerable sites is multiplying. In fact, one-third of the most-trafficked websites are risky, new research has revealed. Menlo Security found in its State of the Web 2015 vulnerability report that more than one in three of the top domains are risky ó meaning the sites are either already compromised or running vulnerable software ó increasing exposure to attack for anyone visiting them. Forensic Magazine, 2015.

Law: Writing A Search Warrant Application for a Mobile Device Search warrants for mobile devices are in the news again. This time, the issue isnít whether a warrant is needed; itís how specific the warrant needs to be. Last June, Riley v. California, 573 U.S. ___ (2014) required police to demonstrate probable cause for search incident to arrest by showing where and how they believe a mobile device contains evidence of a crime. This month, the court in United States v. Winn, __ F.Supp.3d __, 2015 WL 553286 (S.D.Ill. February 09, 2015) took Riley one step further by focusing on particularity: the need for police to specify what evidence they are looking for within a subjectís mobile device., 2015

Education and Training
Capital Litigation picture

NCSTL has trained more than 13,500 people worldwide. That number is increasing because the NCSTL educates online. Specifically, the NCSTL has released the following CLE/CE Programs: SANE-SART Training for Forensic Nurses, A Collaboration Between NCSTL and SANE-SART Resource Services, Law 101: Legal Guide for the Forensic Expert, sponsored by National Institute of Justice (NIJ), housed on, billed by NIJ as "one of the most popular courses EVER", Forensic Science Course for Capital Litigators - Self-Study which focuses on forensic science. Legal Guide for the Forensic Expert has been a very popular course published on two years ago.

NCSTL conducts in-person training. Under a grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), NCSTL has conducted many training workshops on the use of forensic science in capital cases over the past several years. See Education and Training Section of this website.

What is NCSTL? is the only online resource in the world that concentrates on the nexus of science, technology, and the law. Focusing on forensic science and scientific evidence, educates and shares information with scientists, legal professionals, law enforcement, academics, and the public.

Two handouts - The Database and Everything Else - and a YouTube video Introduction to NCSTL describe the NCSTL.

How we help you offers specialized resources for:

Academics: teachers & students
Law Enforcement
Legal Professionals
Scientists/Technologists provides:

• A forensic research database
• A newsletter about the latest forensic topics
• A calendar on forensic conferences and seminars
Resource pages on law, expert witnesses, and current forensic topics
Interlibrary loans for forensic resources
• Video/audio lectures presented by experts
• Interactive educational programs
• Dozens of bibliographies

Saturday Jul 04, 2015

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for thousands of other forensic audio-video casts.

The Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) was created in 1985 under the Federal Advisory Committee Act to promote security cooperation between American private sector interests worldwide and the U.S. Department of State. OSAC conference website 2015. OSAC archived webinars/ presentations.

NIJ Final Technical Reports have been made available by NIJ through the National Criminal Justice Reference Service:

General Responsivity and Evidence-Based Treatment: Individual and Program Predictors of Treatment Outcomes During Adolescent Outpatient Substance Abuse Treatment
Author: Liana R. Taylor

Abstract: A recent study found that about 7 percent of youth between the ages of 12 and 17 have a substance use disorder. But drug and alcohol abuse is even higher among juvenile offenders. Itís estimated that up to 67 percent of juvenile detainees meet the criteria for a substance use disorder.

Juvenile justice program planning has emphasized the ways to reduce substance use and the odds that youth will stay involved in the justice system. These efforts have led to the incorporation of general community-based substance abuse treatment programs and the development of court-based treatment programs.

The author explored the gaps regarding the application of the Risk-Need-Responsivity (RNR) model to juvenile substance abuse treatment programs by examining adherence to the general responsivity principle and evidence-based treatment intervention (EBT) in adolescent outpatient programs (AOP) and juvenile drug treatment courts. While the RNR model was developed to guide correctional programs in reducing recidivism, up to this point it has been applied primarily to adult programming. The findings support the potential use of the RNR model and EBT classification in AOPs and juvenile drug treatment courts. In addition, the report demonstrates the need for further specification and research on the responsivity principle, as well as the need for more rigorous classification of treatment interventions as ďevidence-based.Ē

Identifying and Communicating Genetic Determinants of Facial Features: Practical Considerations in Forensic Molecular Photofitting
Author: Mark Shriver
Abstract: Human facial diversity is substantial, complex, and largely scientifically unexplained. The author measured face shape in population samples with mixed West African and European ancestry from the United States, Brazil, and Cape Verde. Using bootstrapped response-based imputation modeling (BRIM), the author uncovered the relationships between facial variation and the effects of sex, genomic ancestry, and a set of craniofacial candidate genes that show signatures of accelerated evolution. The facial effects of these variables were summarized as response-based imputed predictor (RIP) variables, which were validated using self-reported information. Results on a set of 20 genes showing significant effects on facial features provide support for this approach as a novel means to identify genes affecting normal-range facial features and for approximating the appearance of a face from genetic markers.

These tools can aid psychological research on the role of face shape in perceiving, categorizing, and remembering faces and in studying other specific phenomena. The authorís methods also allow investigations of how facial features are associated with variables such as age, body size, drug use history, and possibly even sexual orientation, attractiveness, dominance, and temperament. In addition, they allow the estimation of ancestry from 3D images rather than from DNA tests. Most directly, the authorís methods provide a means of identifying the genes that affect facial shape and for modeling the effects of these genes to generate a predicted face. Although much more work is needed before it is known how many genes are required to estimate the shape of a face and more populations need to be studied before the results can be generalized, this report results provides both the impetus and analytical framework for those future studies.

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