Friday, August 12, 2011

New Resource on Fingerprints from the Scientific Working Group

"The dynamic and active nature of human information processing enables us to become experts but also makes us distort incoming data and make erroneous decisions. These vulnerabilities are not limited to fingerprint experts and apply equally to other domains. However, the importance of fingerprint evidence being reliable and unbiasable requires that these potential weaknesses be addressed." 

- Chapter 15, page 20

The Fingerprint Sourcebook

by Scientific Working Group on Friction Ridge Analysis, Study and Technology (SWGFAST), et al. August 2011

SWGFAST, established in 1995, is one of several

Scientific Working Groups (SWG). The overall intent of Scientific

Working Groups is to improve forensic science practices and build

consensus amongst federal, state, and local forensic laboratories and

practitioners. The SWGs are a focal point for discussion on key issues

confronting various forensic science disciplines which will lead to the

establishment of guidelines and standards through consensus and general

acceptance. The guidelines and standards published by them are widely

recognized by the forensic community, the courts, and the forensic

laboratory accrediting bodies.

The membership of SWGFAST is comprised of a diverse

group of dedicated and professionally recognized individuals. This

includes not only friction ridge examination experts from law

enforcement agencies, but also defense experts, researchers,

instructors, academicians, laboratory managers, and others

The Fingerprint Sourcebook aims to be the definitive resource on the science of fingerprint identification. The Sourcebook was prepared by the International Association for Identification and topics covered include the anatomy and physiology of friction ridge skin (the uniquely ridged skin found on the palms and soles); techniques for recording exemplars from both living and deceased subjects; the FBI's Automated Fingerprint Identifications Systems (AFIS); latent print development, preservation and documentation; equipment and laboratory quality assurance; perceptual, cognitive and psychological factors in expert identifications; and legal issues.