The Forensic Sciences Command, part of the Illinois State Police, Division of Forensic Services, maintains seven operational forensic science laboratories. The Forensic Sciences Command is charged with performing two major operational functions: to provide scientific analysis of physical evidence to agencies in the Illinois criminal justice system, and to provide training of a scientific nature to command employees and to officers in the law enforcement community. The operational laboratories are located in the following communities: Chicago, Joliet, Rockford, Morton, Springfield, Fairview Heights and Carbondale. A Statewide Training Program provides training for command employees at various command laboratory sites. The command also maintains a Research & Development Laboratory to enhance current scientific techniques, develop new analytical procedures, and research specialized projects.
Forensic scientists examine evidence collected by crime scene investigators. The Latin word forensis translates generally into English as “a public forum or place to debate and argue.” Forensic scientists use their skills to examine, identify, evaluate, and objectively describe evidence from crime scenes for argument between prosecution and defense attorneys in courts. Judges and juries decide what the evidence implies.
The Illinois State Police Forensic Science Laboratory System became the first such laboratory system in history to be accredited for the quality of its service.