In 1996, the Forensic Sciences program at the Criminal Justice Institute was begun to enhance the training available to Arkansas law enforcement personnel performing investigative and crime scene functions in their agencies. Through specialized class and course offerings taught by nationally and internationally recognized instructors, investigators can acquire or enhance their knowledge and skills to aid them in their casework. With lecture and practical exercises, officers learn proper procedures and techniques in a controlled learning environment. These techniques are not only important in the admissibility of evidence in court, but can help with speedy and proper analysis by the Crime Lab. Several components are vital in building a strong case, including proper evidence collection and packaging, accurate note taking, and uncorrupted chain of custody. Feedback is given during practical exercises to ensure that all officers properly learn techniques.
CJI offers a nationally unique training facility, containing state of-the art educational equipment that offers course participants cutting-edge technology. Having access to this equipment enables the Institute to offer a wide variety of needed crime scene and death investigation courses. This training will also help prepare law enforcement professionals to meet the changing needs of their community.