Descriptor Details

  • Introduction to Forensics
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  • 150
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  • 3.0
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  • Uploaded: 10/12/2017 04:43:52 PM PDT

This course provides an introduction to the role of forensics in criminal investigations.  It examines the methods utilized in the forensic analysis of crime scenes, pattern evidence, instruments, firearms, questioned documents and controlled substances.


Role of Forensic Science within the Criminal Justice System

Crime Scene analysis versus crime scene processing

Analysis of Pattern Evidence in Investigations

Principles of Fingerprint Identification

Analysis of Document Evidence

Firearms and tool mark analysis

Collection, Preservation and analysis of DNA evidence

Arson and Explosives evidence

Types of Controlled Substances evidence


At the conclusion of this course, the student should be able to:

Identify and explain the role of forensic specialists in the Criminal Justice System.

Identify the various types of crime scenes and differentiate between crime scene process versus crime scene analysis.

Identify and differentiate the types of pattern evidence and explain their respective importance in crime scene reconstruction.

Identify and explain Personal Identification Patterns that identify a person.

Identify and explain the processes for analyzing questioned documents

Identify and explain the processes for analyzing tool mark and firearm evidence.

Identify the three methods of DNA typing.

Explain the procedures for the collection and preserving DNA evidence to prevent contamination.

Identify and Differentiate the chemical and material evidence in Arson and Explosives crime scenes.

Identify and Differentiate depressant, stimulant, hallucinogen, and narcotic substances and explain the methods of analyzing each type of substance in a forensic laboratory.

Objective and subjective examinations/quizzes

Case analysis


Homework assignments

In class exercises/presentations

The Science of Crime Scenes, Houck, 2012, 1st Ed.

Forensic Science: Fundamentals and Investigation, Bertilo, 2016, 2nd Ed

Criminalistics: Forensic Sciences, Crime & Terrorism, Girard, 2015, 3rd Ed.

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  • orig app year 2010