International Association for Identification
International Association for Identification (Forensic Science)
Started in California as the International Association for Criminal Identification in 1915, the International Association for Identification (IAI) has grown to be one of the largest professional forensic organizations in the world, with more than six thousand members in all fifty U.S. states and sixty countries. The IAI provides certification and recertification programs in areas specific to forensic investigations, including fingerprint collection and analysis, blood pattern examination, crime scene investigation, footwear and tire-track examination, forensic photography, and forensic art. Requirements for certification in any given area typically include both classroom training and practical field and lab experience. For example, to be eligible for blood spatter certification, an applicant must have at least a week of formal training and at least three years of practical on-the-job experience.
The IAI is involved in the development and advancement of new forensic identification techniques and sponsors groups of experts who work closely with law-enforcement agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Guidelines established by the IAI cover areas such as detection, collection, evaluation, identification, reporting, and storage of forensic evidence. Working groups have also been formed around relatively new developments in forensics, such as imaging technologies and digital evidence. More traditional areas, such as latent...
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Further Reading (Forensic Science)
McCartney, Carole. Forensic Identification and Criminal Justice: Forensic Science, Justice, and Risk. Portland, Oreg.: Willan, 2006.
Polski, Joseph P. “The Science Behind Forensic Science.” Science 304, no. 5669 (2004): 389.
Thompson, Tim, and Sue Black, eds. Forensic Human Identification: An Introduction. Boca Raton, Fla.: CRC Press, 2007.
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International Association for Identification (World of Forensic Science)
The roots of the International Association for Identification (IAI) extend back to 1915 when Harry H. Caldwell, an inspector with the Oakland (California) Police Department, identified the need to organize a criminal identification group. Consequently, twenty-two criminal identification operators formed the International Association for Criminal Identification in October 1915, with Caldwell as its presiding officer. Today, the IAI (web page http://www.theiai.org/) is the world's oldest and largest forensic organization, with over 5,000 members from the United States and numerous foreign countries. Through a network of products and services, the IAI is the primary organization engaged in the dissemination of information and support of forensic science professionals.
The word criminal was dropped from its name in 1918 because IAI bureaus were performing increasing amounts of non-criminal work. The newly named organization, International Association for Identification, was subsequently incorporated in Delaware on December 22, 1919. Throughout the twentieth century, the IAI grew in prominence as new state bureaus, divisions, committees, and other groups were formed. Indeed, the organization was recognized by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and other government agencies as a valuable partner against crime; a status it maintains today.
Presently, the structure of the IAI, with headquarters in Mendota Heights, Minnesota (south of Minneapolis), consists of independent divisions and regions throughout the world. Two major IAI awards are presented each year: The John A. Dondero Memorial Awardstablished in 1958 and first awarded to FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover in 1959ecognizes people who make significant contributions to the field of identification; and the Good of the Association Awardirst awarded in 1988ecognizes persons who make outstanding contributions to IAI goals, interests, and objectives.
The IAI runs six certification programs: Latent Print (the first program, established in 1977), Crime Scene; Forensic Art; Footwear and Tiretrack Analysis; Bloodstain Pattern, and Forensic Photography/Imaging. A peer-reviewed IAI journal called the Journal of Forensic Identification, established in 1988, is an internationally recognized bimonthly journal that includes scientific articles on case reports, experiments, original investigations, reviews, tests, and other related subjects. The IAI also sponsors the Annual IAI International Educational Conference, which features educational presentations, field trips, general and advanced seminars, hands-on workshops, and vendor exhibits. Established in 1988, the Robert L. Johnson Foundation provides research and educational scholarships and grants to promote the advancement of professional forensic identification. A student membership category was created in 2000 so that full-time college students with majors in forensic science, law enforcement, and related fields could benefit from IAI information and training.
SEE ALSO Careers in forensic science; FBI (United States Federal Bureau of Investigation); Identification.