The Wisconsin State Department of Justice received a report from the National Forensic Science Technology Center at Florida International University examining the Wisconsin State Crime Lab. The issues identified include employee turnover that disrupts lab timeliness in testing and incidences of failure for the crime lab to follow procedures about which samples to accept. The report cites the National Research Council’s 2009 conclusion that lab association with law enforcement produces “potential for creating bias and conflicts of interest” and that lab independence is necessary because “the best science is conducted in a scientific setting as opposed to a law enforcement setting.” The report also suggests reforms to the laboratory pay scale in order to boost employee morale. Additionally, the report emphasized need for consistency in submission of items to the lab. The Wisconsin Attorney General, in response, has requested more funding from the state to hire additional analysts and change staff compensation.
Todd Richmond of the Associated Press wrote an article on September 18th about the report and its findings, available at: https://www.apnews.com/fa89becdff234d0eb38c21fb7e454db8. The report itself is available from the Wisconsin State Department of Justice at https://www.doj.state.wi.us/sites/default/files/news-media/9.18.18_WSCLB_Assessment.pdf.