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Remarks by The Honorable James K. Stewart, Director, National Institute of Justice, Before the Committee on DNA Technology in Forensic Science of the National Research Council's Commission on Life Sciences

NCJ Number
Date Published
6 pages

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) is looking to the Committee on DNA Technology in Forensic Science of the National Research Council Commission on Life Sciences to identify the research issues that NIJ should pursue to address current procedures and needs for standards.


The NIJ research programs focus on the problems and needs of the criminal justice system and improve the understanding of victimization and offender through a combination of policy-relevant research and long-range basic research. For example, the bullet proof vest was produced by NIJ and a less-than-lethal weapon is under development. Drug research has led to the creation of the Drug Use Forecasting system that screens arrestees for ten different drugs to provide a continuous measure for analyzing the trends in the national drug problem. While NIJ sponsors outside research projects, staff scientists examine issues such as career criminals, shock incarceration, prison population projections, and drug enforcement. In the area of forensic science, NIJ is advancing research on fingerprint technology, blood typing, trace metal identification, and photographic image enhancement for criminal identification. Support of DNA studies has included PCR research, analysis of DNA from human bone tissue, developmental work on standards of DNA technology, and a national conference. With DNA evidence, law enforcement officers can achieve a higher level of certainty in excluding or including suspects of violent crimes. Unlike other traditional police methods, it can also add greater precision in corroborating other investigatory techniques.

Date Published: January 1, 1989