Rhode Island State Crime Laboratory

49 Fogarty Hall, 41 Lower College Road, Kingston, RI 02881


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When fingerprint evidence is received, the RISCL Latent Print Section reviews the background materials submitted with the evidence and determines the general approach necessary for effective examination of the evidence within the latent print section of the laboratory. Within this section, complex examinations are performed on evidence items utilizing appropriate techniques including the use of powders, chemicals, high intensity light sources (visible, laser, ultraviolet and infrared), cameras, lenses, film, and other laboratory equipment. Such examinations may include: latent fingerprint/palm print enhancement, comparison, and identification, digital photography of evidence, and use of computer software to analyze and compare print impressions.

Latent print examination results are interpreted and evaluated to determine their validity, scientific significance, and evidentiary value to provide the most information possible. Written reports are then prepared that state the results of examinations. RISCL latent print examiners may be required to testify in court as experts in their specialty area(s). When requested, the examiners will also participate in crime scene processing and work with law enforcement and laboratory personnel in regard to evidence procedures.

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