What We Do
CPCS Forensic Services provides litigation support and training to staff and private attorneys and social workers as they confront forensics issues in their cases. We assist with forensic issues at all stages of litigation, across all CPCS practice areas – adult and juvenile criminal, care and protection, mental health commitment, parole, and SDP and SORB. We keep attorneys updated on developments in the various forensics disciplines and provide education and training on forensics issues.
Finding an Expert: We may be able to help you find an expert to evaluate the evidence in your case, evaluate your client, consult, and/or testify. We maintain information on experts already approved as CPCS vendors, new experts who have not yet worked on a CPCS case, and can help you find an expert that meets your case’s forensic needs. Currently, this expert information is not viewable on this website. Please email Forensic Services for help finding an expert for your case.
Finding Information on Forensics: Visit our Resources page to learn about some forensic methods and issues, and for links to help you further evaluate forensic evidence. Some of the resources are maintained by CPCS, most are not. This page is not exhaustive. If you need additional assistance or information, please email Forensic Services.
REPORT TO THE PRESIDENT Forensic Science in Criminal Courts: Ensuring Scientific Validity of Feature-Comparison Methods
(p.1) “When President Obama asked the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) in 2015 to consider whether there are additional steps that could usefully be taken on the scientific side to strengthen the forensic-science disciplines and ensure the validity of forensic evidence used in the Nation’s legal system, PCAST concluded that there are two important gaps: (1) the need for clarity about the scientific standards for the validity and reliability of forensic methods and (2) the need to evaluate specific forensic methods to determine whether they have been scientifically established to be valid and reliable.
This report aims to help close these gaps for the case of forensic “feature-comparison” methods—that is, methods that attempt to determine whether an evidentiary sample (e.g., from a crime scene) is or is not associated with a potential “source” sample (e.g., from a suspect), based on the presence of similar patterns, impressions, or other features in the sample and the source. Examples of such methods include the analysis of DNA, hair, latent fingerprints, firearms and spent ammunition, toolmarks and bitemarks, shoeprints and tire tracks, and handwriting.”
The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) has released a new report on eyewitness identification — “Identifying the Culprit: Assessing Eyewitness Identification.” The report reviews thirty years of research on memory and eyewitness ID and provides recommendations for police practices and court procedures.
Photo Credit: Wordle by Anne Goldbach