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Perceptions of blind proficiency testing among latent print examiners

Conference/Workshop:
https://dr.lib.iastate.edu/handle/20.500.12876/Dw8822Ww
Journal: Science & Justice
Published: 2023
Primary Author: Brett O. Gardner
Secondary Authors: Maddisen Neuman

In recent years, scholars have levied multiple criticisms against traditional proficiency testing procedures in forensic laboratories. Consequently, on several occasions, authorities have formally recommended that laboratories implement blind proficiency testing procedures. Implementation has been slow, but laboratory management has increasingly expressed interest in initiating blind testing in at least some forensic disciplines, with some laboratories conducting blind testing in almost all disciplines. However, little is known about how a key population perceives blind proficiency testing, i.e., forensic examiners. We surveyed active latent print examiners (N = 338) to explore perceptions of blind proficiency testing and determine whether beliefs varied between examiners who work for laboratories with and without blind proficiency testing. Results suggest that examiners do not hold particularly strong beliefs about such procedures, but that examiners who work in laboratories with blind proficiency testing procedures view them significantly more positively than those who do not. Further, examiner responses provide insight into potential obstacles to continued implementation.

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