skip navigation

Add your conference to our Justice Events calendar


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the NCJRS Abstracts Database. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.

  NCJ Number: BC000614    
  Title: What Every Law Enforcement Officer Should Know About DNA Evidence
  Document URL: Text PDF 
  Corporate Author: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
US Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
United States of America

National Cmssn on the Future of DNA Evidence
United States of America
  Date Published: 1999
  Page Count: 7
  Annotation: This document discusses DNA evidence collection and preservation.
  Abstract: DNA is contained in blood, semen, skin cells, tissue, organs, muscle, brain cells, bone, teeth, hair, saliva, mucus, perspiration, fingernails, and urine. DNA is similar to fingerprint analysis in how matches are determined. When using either DNA or a fingerprint to identify a suspect, the evidence collected from the crime scene is compared with the “known” print. If even one feature of the DNA or fingerprint is different, it is determined not to have come from that suspect. Forensically, valuable DNA can be found on evidence that is decades old. Several factors can affect the DNA left at a crime scene, including environmental factors. Not all DNA evidence will result in a usable DNA profile. DNA evidence can be collected from virtually anywhere. Only a few cells can be sufficient to obtain useful DNA information. Investigators and laboratory personnel should work together to determine the most probative pieces of evidence and to establish priorities. Every officer should be aware of important issues involved in the identification, collection, transportation, and storage of DNA evidence. Biological material may contain hazardous pathogens such as the HIV virus and the hepatitis B virus. Because extremely small samples of DNA can be used as evidence, greater attention to contamination issues is necessary when identifying, collecting, and preserving DNA evidence. When transporting and storing evidence that may contain DNA, it is important to keep the evidence dry and at room temperature. As with fingerprints, the effective use of DNA may require the collection and analysis of elimination samples. CODIS (Combined DNA Index Systems), an electronic database of DNA profiles that can identify suspects, is similar to the Automated Fingerprint Identification System where suspects can be identified or linked to a crime scene through search analysis.
  Main Term(s): Evidence collection ; DNA fingerprinting
  Index Term(s): Crime Laboratories (Crime Labs) ; Trace evidence ; Suspect identification ; Blood/body fluid analysis ; Hair and fiber analysis ; Forensics/Forensic Sciences
  Publication Number: BC000614OH
  Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/NCJRS
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
  Type: Training (Handbook/Manual)
  Country: United States of America
  Language: English
  To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.