Welcome to RTI’s Center for Forensic Sciences!

The Center for Forensic Sciences leads programs that continuously improving the current state of forensic science and its application to public health and safety and the criminal justice system.

Vision

The RTI Center for Forensic Sciences focuses on continuous quality improvement to enhance the current state of forensic science and its applications. Our multidisciplinary approach to supporting advancements in forensic science allows us the insight and ability to craft individualized results. Through our collaborations with members of the forensic science community, including scientists that investigate crimes, deaths, and other threats to public safety and public health, we have the unique and distinct advantage of developing innovative techniques and actionable data to solve challenges faced by governmental agencies, forensic laboratories, and criminal justice practitioners.

Our highly skilled team of scientists and technical advisors perform research and create educational resources and quality assurance programs designed to improve the field of forensic science by turning knowledge into practice.

We have subject matter experts in several forensic disciplines and specialized topics including analytical techniques, chemistry, disaster victim identification, fingerprint examination, firearms and toolmarks examination, laboratory quality, leadership and management, medicolegal death investigation, molecular biology (DNA), and toxicology. We augment our expertise with external networks to address other disciplines such as digital evidence, fire and explosives examinations, handwriting analysis, questioned documents, and trace evidence examination (e.g., paints and polymers, glass, soil). We also work closely with stakeholder communities representing other disciplines—including anthropology, engineering, entomology, nursing, odontology, pathology, and psychiatry—practicing in academia, medical examiner or coroner offices, or professional settings.


Focus Areas

Research, Technology, and Evaluation

The Research, Technology, and Evaluation program in the RTI Center for Forensic Sciences assesses the transition of investigative approaches and technologies impacting criminal justice and forensic practitioner communities globally. Our team of scientists and engineers have the advanced capabilities to discover solutions to scientific and public health challenges faced by all aspects of the criminal justice community.

Quality Assurance

The RTI Center for Forensic Sciences’ laboratory quality assurance program assesses, supports, and improves the quality of drug testing laboratories and criminal justice organizations in the United States and abroad. Our services develop and manage proficiency testing programs and forensic laboratory inspections as well as the design, preparation, and distribution of reference materials and quality assurance samples for clinical and forensic drug testing laboratories.

Forensic Science Translation and Implementation

The Forensic Science Translation and Implementation Program moves policy forward by focusing on innovative practices that strengthen justice and improve public safety through the delivery of efficient, interactive, and actionable solutions. We provide the forensic science, public safety, and justice communities with the latest professional and technical information from the field—sustaining knowledge adoption and implementation.

FTCOE

Developed by the National Institute of Justice, the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCoE) seeks to strengthen the impact of forensic science through rigorous technology corroboration, evaluation, and adoption. Our team brings expertise from across all forensic disciplines, complemented by a robust infrastructure that includes laboratory sciences, criminal justice operations, web-based training, data collection, and technology assessment. Be sure sure to sign up for the FTCoE newsletter here.

The Sexual Assault Kit Initiative Training and Technical Assistance (SAKI TTA) program supports coordinated teams of police officers, prosecutors, crime laboratory professionals, sexual assault nurse examiners (SANEs), forensic medical personnel, and victim services agency members. SAKI TTA provides evidence-based, victim-centered, and sustainable practices; these practices help with collecting and processing forensic evidence, investigating and prosecuting sexual assault cases, and supporting sexual assault survivors. SAKI TTA offers the support that jurisdictions need to navigate the unique challenges associated with cold case sexual assault.

Since 1986, RTI International has supported the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) by managing the National Laboratory Certification Program (NLCP). We conduct all aspects of the program, including the review and assessment of laboratory applications; inspections of applicant and certified laboratories; design, preparation, and distribution, scoring performance testing samples. The HHS-certified laboratories accredited under the NLCP are known as the “gold standard” in the drug testing industry. 

The Criminal Justice Testing and Evaluation Consortium (CJTEC), operated by RTI International, is program funded by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), the research, development, and evaluation agency of the U.S. Department of Justice. CJTEC staff uses research-based methodologies to enhance the capabilities of law enforcement, courts, and corrections agencies and to understand and test technologies and practices in a variety of NIJ’s research areas. As a consortium, CJTEC leverages expertise from varied criminal justice community stakeholders to understand and test technologies and practices in a variety of NIJ’s research areas.

RTI International’s Center for Forensic Sciences presents Just Science, a podcast for justice professionals and anyone interested in learning more about forensic science, innovative technology, current research, and actionable strategies to improve the criminal justice system. This podcast discusses a wide range of topics, including leadership and efficiency in crime laboratories, sexual assault response, broader challenges faced by science and public security, and all forensic disciplines. All of our podcast episodes are available to the public at no cost.


Training & Certification Programs

Looking for training or certification programs?

Our online training programs, National Forensic Science Academy’s Forensic Manager Certification Program, or Breath Alcohol Re-certification Training may help you. 


Reference Materials

Do you need reference materials for quality assurance programs?

Our reference materials for toxicology are used for proficiency testing and blind quality checks in laboratories around the world.