Forensic Science & Criminal Justice

Forensic science is defined as being any aspect of science as it relates to law. Fields of forensic science can be related to civil action or crime. There are many options for those looking to work in the field of forensic science. Some of the branches of forensic science include forensic psychiatry and profiling, document examination, firearms identification, criminal law, crime scene processing, and more.

  • Forensic Science Careers – Some great information on some of the different careers available in the vast field of forensic science, include information on medical examiners, crime lab analysts, crime scene examiner, and forensic engineers.

Forensic Psychiatry & Profiling

Those working in the field of forensic psychiatry study what causes mental illness, as well as its diagnosis and treatment as it pertains to criminals. Profiling is where a person will examine crime scenes and other types of information to come up with a profile of the criminal. This might include their approximate age, gender, and the reasons for committing the specific crime.

Criminal Law

Criminal law is used to define what a crime is and how it is prosecuted and then punished. These offenses are defined under a coded system of laws and punishments for breaking those laws.

  • Guide To Criminal Law – Information on US and international law, related organizations, articles, and publications related to criminal law.
  • Criminal Law – An overview and resources on criminal law from the Legal Information Institute.

Document Examination

The field of document examination include handwriting analysis, counterfeiting, forgery, and other related subcategories. Examining documents involves looking at the relationships between document and inscription and how the document relates to a certain sequence of events or person.

  • Forensic Document Examination – An article explaining what document examination from the Southeastern Associaton of Forensic Document Examiners.
  • Document Examination – A list of frequently asked questions and answers on forensic document examination.

Firearms & Toolmark Identification

Firearms examination is used to identify characteristics between a firearm, projectile, and target. This generally involves matching a bullet to the gun that fired it. Toolmark identification is similar and involves identifying the characteristics between a tool and the object that it was used on such as a door frame. Identification of explosives and imprint evidence are also studied in this field.

  • Firearms ID – Resources and information including an introduction to forensic firearm identification.
  • Toolmark Identification – An extensive explanation of toolmark identification from the National Instititute of Justice firearm examiner training module.

Crime Scene Processing

Those who work in the field of crime scene processing travel to crime scenes and examine all evidence. Their jobs include collecting all necessary evidence, properly tagging and bagging evidence, and then returning to their lab to analyze the evidence. Forensic photography is usually done as a part of crime scene processing as well.

  • Processing Protocol – An article with extensive information on the protocols of crime scene processing.