Standing Alone: How Independence Has Allowed the Houston Forensic Science Center to Build a New Culture

Location: Hernando de Soto Room
Date: Fri, March 23
Time: 2:45 PM - 4:00 PM

The City of Houston has had, at times, a difficult history when it comes to forensic science. In response to the 2009 NAS report, the city created the Houston Forensic Science Center (HFSC) as an independent, non-profit, local government corporation. Independence from law enforcement, prosecutors, elected officials and citizens groups has allowed HFSC employees to focus on unbiased scientific analysis and objective presentations of evidence in courtroom proceedings. This is in turn rebuilding public trust and confidence in the services provided by HFSC. Since taking over management of Houston’s forensic operations in 2014, HFSC has been at the forefront of integrating new technology and conducting research on emerging problems within multiple forensic disciplines. HFSC has also been a model of transparency in how it conducts its operations. This session will present research, new technology and revolutionary policies being implemented at HFSC, and discuss the importance of transparency.

All Experience Levels