SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois State Police (ISP) Division of Forensic Services announced today re-accreditation of its forensic science laboratory system from the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board (ASCLD/LAB). The re-accreditation process, which occurs every five years, requires a full, independent review by national and international inspectors at all ISP forensic science laboratories. The ISP was first accredited in 1982.
“We believe our forensic science laboratory system is one of the best in the world, and our successful completion of the re-accreditation process by all nine of our labs is continuing proof of that” ISP Director Sam W. Nolen said. “Our laboratory system was the first to obtain accreditation in the United States by the ASCLD/LAB and the first to establish a Forensic Science Quality Assurance Program. We are obviously very proud.“
In June 2002, 42 ASCLD/LAB inspectors spent a week at all of ISP’s laboratory facilities inspecting criteria encompassing three categories: Laboratory Management and Operations, Personnel Standards, and Physical Plant Standards. The accreditation process is a quality assurance program which also includes proficiency testing, continuing education, and other programs to help the laboratory give better overall service to the criminal justice system. Re-accreditation requires a full review of the laboratory including an on-site inspection.
The Crime Laboratory Accreditation Program, established by the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors, is a voluntary program in which a crime laboratory participates to demonstrate management, operations, personnel, procedures, equipment, physical plant, security, and health and safety procedures meet established standards. The program is managed by the ASCLD/LAB which is responsible to the Delegate Assembly composed of directors of all accredited laboratories.
The ISP forensic science laboratory system is the second largest system to be accredited by the ASCLD/LAB and only follows in size to the FBI Laboratory Division. ISP forensic science laboratories are located in Carbondale, Chicago, Fairview Heights, Joliet, Morton, Rockford, Springfield, and Westchester. Last year the ISP forensic science laboratory system handled more than 112,000 cases, 98 percent of which were from local and county police agencies.