What Is Crime Scene Investigation?
The popularity of television crime dramas has made CSI, or Crime Scene Investigation, a household term. Crime Scene Investigation involves collecting, preserving and analyzing evidence and other data found at crime scenes. Forensics experts who participate in these processes play vital roles in the legal system. Schools offering Forensic Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
(Not Exactly) As Seen on TV
The term 'Crime Scene Investigation' has become largely recognizable, thanks to pop culture and television media. A string of hit TV series about the field garner millions of viewers each week, but they don't accurately depict the work involved, according to an article in Occupational Outlook Quarterly (OOQ), www.bls.gov/opub/ooq/2003/fall/art01.pdf.
Crime Scene Investigation, often referred to as CSI, involves collecting, preserving, documenting and analyzing evidence found at crime scenes. Forensics, the application of science in the legal realm, plays a big role in Crime Scene Investigation, and a number of forensic professionals are involved in the process.
While the TV drama version of Crime Scene Investigation involves expensive, high-end equipment, real-life investigators generally work with limited budgets and must rely on their creativity to get the job done. On-screen depictions of Crime Scene Investigation also occasionally skew the reality of working in the field by misrepresenting the career profiles of real-life professionals.
What Forensics Experts Really Do
Forensics experts are responsible for two main tasks: retrieving and processing evidence found at crime scenes and acting as expert witnesses. The first of these tasks involves studying physical evidence, analyzing clues recovered from crime scenes and drawing conclusions based on evidence and one's expertise. The second part of a forensic expert's job requires communicating his or her complex findings to judges and juries in understandable terms.
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