Policies and procedures can quickly become out-of-date if an effective policy coordination function is not coupled. The creation of science and technology policy and procedure is to response for the documentation, maintenance, distribution of policy records, and up-to-date procedures along with providing guidance in collecting and preparing documents, even on criminal investigation and prosecutions.
Documenting, policies, procedures, and delegations should enable efforts in criminal investigation and prosecution by addressing a number of key points: ease of access, cost effectiveness, responsiveness, and accountability (University of California Santa Cruz, 1994).
Ease of access. Policy and procedure manuals always do not exist as up-to-date. Investigators or prosecutors cannot always find the documents needed to make informed decisions. Therefore, an up-to-date, online system will permit those who use or are directly affected by policies and procedures to have the access confidentially, when needed.
Cost effectiveness. A designated office or a facility should be dedicated to maintaining files, resources, or other relevant documents. The facility should be responsible to respond to requests for documents as needed. However, using human resources within the facilities may be better assigned to investigative activities. Therefore, a comprehensive, directive policy and procedure should result in the following benefits: less time spent on the telephone, or e-mail; locate a person, either a detective or a forensic technician, to whom a question can be addressed; fewer errors; and provide consistent answers (University of California Santa Cruz, 1994, p. 2).
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Society of Toxicology. (2005). Society of Toxicology. Retrieved June 30, 2010, from Society of Toxicology: http://www.toxicology.org/AI/PUB/si05/Si05_Define.asp
Stanford University. (1999, December 21). Cost Sharing: Stanford University Policy and Procedure (RPH 3.5). Retrieved June 30, 2010, from Research Policy Handbook: http://rph.stanford.edu/3-5.html
University of California Santa Cruz. (1994, October 28). Guide to writing policy and procedure documents. Retrieved June 28, 2010 from http://www.ucsc.edu/ppmanual/pdf/guide.pdf
U.S. Department of Justice. (2009, December). Solicitation: Research and Development on Forensic Crime Scene and Medicolegal Death Investigations
Wecht, C., Rago, J., & Wecht, B. (Eds.). (2006). Forensic Science and Law: Investigative Applications in Criminal, Civil, and Family Justice. Fl, USA: CRC Press.
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