Written by authors with close to one hundred years of forensic experience combined, this introductory text features comprehensive coverage of the types of forensic work done by crime laboratories for criminal cases and by private examiners for civil cases. The book’s unifying vision of the role of forensic science in the justice system and of the role of the professional forensic scientist is clearly introduced in the first two chapters and reinforced throughout the text. Each chapter discusses a key case in the field and references other "real world" applications of the techniques described. The text’s premise is that being a scientist is not required for understanding and using forensic science, but that a greater understanding of science lends itself to better use of the techniques of forensic science.
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Howard A. Harris is currently a full-time faculty member of the Forensic Science Program at the University of New Haven. From fall 1996 through fall of 2003 he was the Director of the Forensic Science Program. His educational background is in chemistry (A.B. Western Reserve University, M.S. and Ph. D. Yale University) and law (J.D. St. Louis University). He was admitted to and has maintained his membership in the Missouri Bar. Dr. Harris was a research chemist for seven years for the Shell Oil Company, before entering the forensic field as the Director of the New York City Police Department Police Laboratory in January of 1974. He held that position for just under twelve years. During that time he was active in the field both locally and nationally. He was one of the founding members of the Northeastern Association of Forensic Scientists. He held offices in the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors (ASCLD) culminating in the Presidency. He was active in the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS), having presented many papers and an invited Plenary Lecture, and was elected a Fellow. In addition to his scientific activities he was also active in the business of Criminalistics section of the AAFS and held a number of positions culminating in Chairmanship. He was awarded the Mary Cowan Award for distinguished service to the Criminalistics Section in 1997 After the twelve years in New York City, he moved upstate to become the Director of the Monroe County Public Safety Laboratory in Rochester New York. Throughout that period he remained active in forensic organizations and was deeply involved with the laboratory accreditation project of ASCLD. He was in the first inspector class and inspected over twenty laboratories while a laboratory Director in New York State. He was also active in the New York State Crime Laboratory Advisory Committee (NTCLAC) and its chair for several years. When New York formed its Crime Laboratory Commission to regulate forensic laboratories in the State, he was appointed to the first Commission and served until his retirement. He held the position as Director in Monroe County for eleven years before taking early retirement to make a career change to academics.
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