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Costa Rica: ICITAP Hosts U.S. Forensic Laboratory Study Tour for Costa Rican Scientists

From October 3 to 8, 2022, ICITAP Forensics hosted a US Forensic Study Tour for representatives from the Costa Rica Judicial Investigations Organization (OIJ) Department of Forensic Sciences (DFS) Program Management Office. During the week, DFS Program Management experts visited the Phoenix Police Department Crime Laboratory and the Houston Forensic Science Center to assist them in a project to reduce bias in their laboratory operations. To supplement their research on the topic, the tour focused on laboratories that have successfully implemented practical solutions to mitigate contextual and confirmation bias in their processes. The laboratory visits included in-depth discussions with executive leadership and observation of key processes to allow them to see how mitigating protocols are applied in day-to-day operations and integrated into organizational culture. The tour finished with attendance at the quarterly meeting of the Texas Forensic Science Commission, a legislative body created to investigate allegations of professional negligence or misconduct and establish procedures, policies, and practices to improve the quality of forensic analyses. The OIJ DFS is an accredited laboratory that serves as a regional role model for Central America and has not only assisted other ICITAP programs worldwide in achieving accreditation and developing laboratory operations but has consistently demonstrated their dedication to improving their service as a forensic provider through projects focused on efficiency and program management.

Updated August 11, 2023