The American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board

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The American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board (ASCLD/LAB) was a Missouri-based not-for-profit that "offers voluntary accreditation to public and private crime laboratories" around the world.[1] Laboratories wishing to become accredited had go through a proficiency testing program as part of the accreditation process.[2]

The main objectives of the ASCLD/LAB were[3][4]:

  1. to improve the quality of laboratory services provided to the criminal justice system.
  2. to adopt, develop and maintain criteria which may be used by a laboratory to assess its level of performance and to strengthen its operation.
  3. to provide an independent, impartial, and objective system by which laboratories can benefit from a total operational review.
  4. to offer to the general public and to users of laboratory services a means of identifying those laboratories which have demonstrated that they meet established standards.

The ASCLD/LAB was acquired by and merged into the ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board (ANAB) in April 2016.[5]

History

The American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors (ASCLD) was officially founded in the fall of 1974.[6] Around the same time, a national examination of forensic science laboratories began, culminating in 1977 with the revelation that many mistakes were being made in those labs. The problematic statistics that came out of that research partially drove the ASCLD to create the Laboratory Accreditation Board (LAB) in the summer of 1981.[7][8] The ASCLD/LAB eventually incorporated as a non-profit corporation in Missouri on February 4, 1988. By June 1992, the organization had accredited 128 laboratories, including its first international laboratory, located in Adelaide, Australia.[8] By the spring of 2014 that total was 403.[7]

On April 22, 2016, ANAB announced that it had signed "an affiliation agreement with The American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board (ASCLD/LAB), merging ASCLD/LAB into ANAB."[5] ANAB stated that with the merger ASCLD/LAB employees would be kept, the ASCLD/LAB brand would be maintained, and "current ASCLD/LAB customers will continue to be accredited under the ASCLD/LAB accreditation symbol."[5]

Accreditation

ASCLD/LAB accredited forensic laboratories and certain forensic breath alcohol calibration programs to help them "demonstrate that its technical operations and overall management system meet ISO/IEC 17025:2005 requirements and applicable ASCLD/LAB-International supplemental requirements."[9] Application review, on-site assessments, quality review, and, if necessary, corrective action resolutions were conducted before the final review and accreditation decision. The International accreditation typically was good for four years as long as the lab remained compliant and maintained obligations such as notification of significant changes to primary policies, resources, organization, and legal ownership.[10]

Compliance

After acceptance, ASCLD/LAB used its Annual Accreditation Audit Report, proficiency testing reports, and laboratory visits to monitor a crime lab's compliance with the body's accreditation standards.[11] In the unusual case of a laboratory failing to comply with those standards, the ASCLD at times opted to place the lab on probation. Examples of such probationary action included the Nassau County, New York crime lab in 2007 and 2010[12][13] and the El Paso Police Department in 2011.[14] Once on probation, the affected lab had to satisfy certain conditions before being able to again operate and eventually be removed from the probationary period, including but not limited to submitting lab analyses for external technical reviews.[15] In extreme cases of non-compliance, the ASCLD at times also chose to suspend the lab for a period of time or even revoke the lab's accreditation.[16][10]

External links

References

  1. "ASCLD/LAB - Welcome". ASCLD/LAB. http://www.ascld-lab.org/. Retrieved 25 February 2012. 
  2. "ASCLD/LAB - Proficiency Testing". ASCLD/LAB. http://www.ascld-lab.org/proftesting/ptoverview.html. Retrieved 25 February 2012. 
  3. Peters, Justin (17 January 2013). "Crime Labs Botch Tests All the Time. Who's Supposed To Make Sure They Don't Screw Up?". Slate Crime Blog. The Slate Group. http://www.slate.com/blogs/crime/2013/01/17/crime_lab_scandal_crime_labs_botch_tests_all_the_time_who_s_supposed_to.html. Retrieved 23 February 2015. 
  4. "Objectives". ASCLD/LAB. http://www.ascld-lab.org/objectives/. Retrieved 23 February 2015. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 "ANAB and ASCLD/LAB Merge Forensics Operations". American National Standards Institute. 22 April 2016. https://www.ansi.org/news_publications/news_story?menuid=7&articleid=a3415f4c-540e-467c-951c-a54815c29c64. Retrieved 06 June 2017. 
  6. "About ASCLD". American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors. http://www.ascld.org/about-ascld/. Retrieved 23 February 2015. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 Smith, Jordan Michael (01 May 2014). "FORENSIC FAILS: Forget 'CSI' -- What's Happening In America's Crime Labs Is A Complete Disaster". Business Insider Australia. Allure Media. http://www.businessinsider.com.au/forensic-csi-crime-labs-disaster-2014-4. Retrieved 23 February 2105. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 "History of the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors / Laboratory Accreditation Board (ASCLD/LAB)". ASCLD/LAB. http://www.ascld-lab.org/history/. Retrieved 23 February 2015. 
  9. "How to Become An Accredited Lab". ASCLD/LAB. http://www.ascld-lab.org/how-to-become-accredited/. Retrieved 23 February 2015. 
  10. 10.0 10.1 "ASCLD/LAB-International Program Overview 2015 Edition" (PDF). ASCLD/LAB. 25 January 2015. pp. 32. http://www.ascld-lab.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/ASCLDLAB-International-2015-Program-Overview.pdf. Retrieved 23 February 2015. 
  11. "ASCLD/LAB - Compliance/Conformance Monitoring". ASCLD/LAB. http://www.ascld-lab.org/monitoring/monitoring_overview.html. Retrieved 25 February 2012. 
  12. "NY Crime Lab On Probation After Review". CBS New York. 07 December 2010. http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2010/12/07/ny-crime-lab-on-probation-after-review/. Retrieved 01 March 2013. 
  13. "New York Crime Lab Goes On Probation". Innocence Project. 08 December 2010. http://www.innocenceproject.org/Content/New_York_Crime_Lab_Goes_On_Probation.php. Retrieved 01 March 2013. 
  14. "El Paso Police Department's Crime Lab On Probation". KFOX 14. 07 July 2011. http://www.kfoxtv.com/news/news/el-paso-police-departments-crime-lab-on-probation/nD664/. Retrieved 01 March 2013. 
  15. "Board: El Paso Crime Lab Can Resume Drug Analysis". KVIA 7. 02 September 2011. http://www.kvia.com/news/Board-El-Paso-Crime-Lab-Can-Resume-Drug-Analysis/-/391068/15246862/-/52k8vnz/-/index.html. Retrieved 01 March 2013. 
  16. Balassone, Merrill (26 September 2010). "Criminal trial not the end for Ripon crime lab questions". The Modesto Bee. http://www.modbee.com/2010/09/26/1355529/criminal-trial-not-the-end-for.html. Retrieved 01 March 2013.