Evidence Integrity and Availability
Evidence is captured and logged immediately at the crime scene, making it immediately available for authorized personnel to view and track. Not only is the evidence and all associated files and media easily and instantly available (to as many authorized personnel as required) but an air-tight chain of custody is maintained for the entire lifecycle of every piece of evidence.
Hand-written evidence documentation should be a thing of the past. Today's investigators need an automated, intuitive system that is customizable to meet the requirements of each agency. Evidence collected at crime scenes should be immediately entered into the system electronically, creating an automated chain of custody that starts right at the crime scene. This sets the stage for successful investigations and prosecutions.
With ever-increasing caseloads, prosecutors need time-saving tools now more than ever to help them manage their cases. With today's technology, they can access evidence information from a web connection; they can print the chain of custody, view photos, play audio and video recordings, read lab reports, and submit requests and authorizations. This eliminates phone calls, requests for information, and time-consuming trips to the property room to view evidence.
It is imperative that evidence brought to court have inherent integrity and professionalism—and a solid, unalterable chain of custody with multiple levels of security. Once admitted as a court exhibit, the chain of custody should continue while evidence is in the custody of the courts and throughout the appellate process.
The public has never been more critical of the criminal justice system and evidence management. DNA is solving decades-old cases that provide long-awaited justice, and many convicted people are being proven innocent. Law enforcement agencies have been successfully sued because evidence was mismanaged, which stalled exoneration for many years. It is imperative that agencies understand the importance of managing not just incoming evidence, but evidence they have had for decades.