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Examining the Evidence

Prioritizing in the Lab

Weighing the Evidence > Limitations > Prioritizing in the Lab
Now, whether it’s due to economic demands or some other reason, certain items will be submitted and the rest of the items are not.

Most but not all forensic lab limitations have their roots in a persistent lack of funding. Funding for a laboratory depends on many factors, such as the size of the community it serves, the availability of budget dollars from the state or department the lab services, and the status of accreditation.

Personnel Limitations

One problem laboratories face that is directly related to funding, is a difficulty in retaining analysts. This is causing a workforce dilemma that radiates through the entire network of crime labs. Investing in initial training and ongoing updating of skills and certifications is extremely costly. As analysts move on, labs are often forced to start over again with lesser experienced personnel.

Limitations Of Technology

As technologies in the field of forensic science progress, many labs find themselves getting left behind. Limits in funding may prevent the purchase of the latest and greatest equipment, so the lab is forced to rely on older, outdated technologies. Furthermore, as their instruments continue to age and break down, the efficacy of this equipment decreases, and reliability of results can decline.