Procedure for maintaining the chain of custody for physical evidence

Category: Law

Directions: While a policy describes a principle or rule to guide decisions that should result in some desired outcome (describes what and why), a procedure outlines the steps to achieve the desired outcome (describes what, how, where, and when). Use the outline below to create a procedure for handling physical evidence for presentation in a criminal case. If you wish, the procedure may describe how to handle a specific type of physical evidence such as a blood sample, a shell casing, a weapon, etc.
1. Procedure Statement: In general terms, what should the procedure accomplish?

2. Statement of Purpose: Address the importance of maintaining a proper chain of custody.

3. Terms and Definitions: These are the terms used in this policy and their definition.

4. Applicability and Scope: Who does the policy affect, and what actions of those affected will the policy impact?

5. Specific Responsibilities: You may add more under this heading if you feel it is necessary. a. Crime Scene Protection: Describe the initial steps you take in securing the scene and collecting evidence. b. Evidence Collection: Describe what you could collect, and give some examples of how you will bag and tag different types of evidence. c. Evidence Documentation for Identification: Describe what information should be on an evidence tag. Remember, you must be able to positively identify the evidence at some later date. d. Chain of Custody Form: Describe or attach a sample form you would use to maintain the chain of command. e. Storage of Evidence: Describe the ideal storage facility and precautions that you must address. f. Submitting Evidence for Forensic Testing: Describe how to package and ship evidence for testing and how to transfer custody.
Note: You may use your favorite search engine to collect additional information for formulating your procedure. Use the search term(s) chain of custody, maintaining a chain of custody, jurisdictional policy for chain of custody, etc.
Use the following checklist to ensure that you have addressed all of the requirements for this activity. The instructor will also use the checklist to evaluate your submission.
1. A brief description of what the procedure will accomplish is included.

2. The Statement of Purpose describes the importance of maintaining the chain of custody and other considerations that will promote the admissibility of the physical evidence at trial.

3. The terms (Terms and Definitions) used in the procedure are adequately addressed.

4. The items under Specific Responsibilities are adequately addressed.


5. Your document is reflective of the written communication skills required of a college student in that it is accurate, concise, and professional in appearance with proper spelling and grammar.
 Your entire case study should be at least three pages. Be sure to cite, in APA format, any source used to influence your response

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