ICITAP provides technical assistance and training in forensic techniques and laboratory development to many countries around the world. ICITAP's work is designed to help police use forensic evidence, from collection at the crime scene through testimony at trial.
ICITAP also helps build forensic laboratories and computerized databases, and provides quality-assurance guidance to prepare laboratories to apply for accreditation.
ICITAP's Forensic Services program supports:
- Training and mentoring of forensic laboratory managers
- Improvements to the quality of the forensic services to the criminal justice community
- The development of management systems to help laboratories attain International Organization for Standardization accreditation
- The implementation of quality assurance programs
- The development and adoption of policies and procedures, and technical and training manuals
- Technical training in all the forensic disciples
"Forensics" simply refers to the application of science to the law. The forensic disciplines in which ICITAP provides technical assistance and training include:
- Engineering sciences
- Physical anthropology
- Psychiatry and behavioral science
- Questioned documents
- Forensic nursing
- Crime scene processing
- Forensic photography and digital imaging
- Digital evidence
- Forensic accounting
These skills are used in all types of investigations: homicides, sexual assaults, robberies, assaults, and organized crimes, such as drug trafficking, money laundering, intellectual property theft, and cybercrime.
Here are a few examples of ICITAP's work around the globe in helping police use forensic evidence to solve crimes and bring criminals to justice:
"Dig Schools" in Colombia
In Colombia, ICITAP, in partnership with the Department of Defense, is conducting forensic anthropology "dig schools" for investigators, prosecutors, and forensics professionals. The program is increasing the capacity of Colombia's forensic laboratories to use DNA evidence to identify victims in mass graves—and to recover and process other evidence from mass graves—that will assist the Colombians in prosecuting members of paramilitary groups responsible for mass murders. As part of this effort, ICITAP has also provided specialized forensic training to Colombia's human rights teams. ICITAP has also enhanced the forensic capabilities of Colombia's law enforcement agencies through the donation of identification systems for DNA, firearms, fingerprints, and document imaging. These secure wireless networks enable Colombia's scientists to build databases, exchange information, and make comparisons of forensic evidence. ICITAP is also training scientists and prosecutors in providing expert testimony and presenting demonstrative evidence as the country makes the transition to an accusatory system of criminal justice.
Criminalistics Training in Indonesia
In Indonesia, ICITAP trained laboratory staff in the analysis of forensic evidence in cases involving terrorism, narcotics, arson, post-blast analysis, explosives identification, ballistics, and questioned documents.
Computer Forensics Training in Ukraine
In Ukraine, ICITAP is providing technical training in DNA and digital evidence analysis (computer forensics) as well as working with laboratory leadership in preparing the laboratory for International Organization for Standardization certification.