State Crime Laboratories Recognized as OSAC Standard Implementing System to Continue Providing Advanced, Objective Scientific Analysis

Jul 1 2021

MADISON, Wis. – Attorney General Josh Kaul today announced the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) Division of Forensic Services (DFS) – the state’s crime laboratories – has voluntarily and successfully adopted industry-leading standards. Adopting these standards reaffirms the labs commitment to conducting the highest quality, objective scientific analysis to evidence.


“The scientists at Wisconsin’s crime labs have done significant work to put these heightened standards and additional procedures in place,” said Attorney General Kaul. “As the adoption of these standards reflects, our Division of Forensic Sciences is committed to conducting the highest quality, objective scientific analysis to help ensure that justice is done in criminal cases around the state.”


Wisconsin’s crime laboratories were officially acknowledged by the Organization of Scientific Area Committees for Forensic Science (OSAC) at the National Institute of Standards and Technologies (NIST) earlier this year.


Becoming an OSAC implementer requires adoption of published standards within a crime laboratories policies and procedures. The OSAC published standards in the disciplines of biology/DNA and digital evidence were the standards adopted and will further ensure that DFS is committed to implementing nationally recognized standards that will supplement its already rigorous accreditation and DNA quality assurance standards.


The state crime labs test evidence submitted by law enforcement agencies, coroners, medical examiners, district attorneys, wardens or superintendents of any state prison, state agency heads, the attorney general, or the governor, at no charge to the submitting official. The crime labs also conduct analysis upon request of a defendant in a felony action that is approved by the presiding judge. The crime labs provide the following services: crime scene response, toxicology, drug identification, DNA analysis that includes the DNA Databank, trace evidence analysis, firearms and tool marks analysis, fingerprint and footwear analysis, ten print comparison, photo work, and forensic imaging and video.


The lab is staffed by approximately 180 managers, forensic scientists, and technicians at facilities in Madison, Milwaukee, and Wausau. The Madison lab serves 24 southern counties, the Milwaukee lab services eight counties in the metro area, and the Wausau lab serves 40 northern Wisconsin counties.


The state crime laboratories at the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) are the only full-service crime laboratories in Wisconsin and provides testing and analysis of evidence for every community in the state.