A new barcode inventory system was recently installed to track evidence in criminal cases in Lancaster County, Pa.
The county needed a better method for tracking property and evidence while it moved through the legal system. By assigning a barcode to each item, transference paperwork and tracking would be streamlined through the software, according to LancasterOnline. The software would also work with the current record exchange system to monitor the items during each stage of the criminal justice process.
In handling the evidence, the chain of custody is extremely important for the implementation of the system as well. Each individual would normally sign paperwork for each transfer, but barcodes allow the process to be handled more securely, according to The National Forensic Science Technology Center. Properly packaging items, securing receipts and limiting the number of people handling the evidence will help to make sure that no tampering occurs.
The barcodes will not just help with the handling of physical evidence from the crime, but it will also help with subsequent analysis. DNA evidence processing can be shown in real-time thanks to this technology, using the number assigned to each sample. The results of each test can then be relayed to investigators through web devices, significantly reducing the time spent in office waiting for results.
The amount of evidence collected at one time from multiple cases can seem daunting. Police collect evidence in all murder and drug cases, according to the National Criminal Justice Reference Service. In other cases where they already apprehended the suspect, they may not collect physical traces. Using the barcodes, police are able to easily distinguish between evidence both within the case as well as among other cases proceeding at the same time.
Businesses can more effectively manage inventory using barcode software to similarly track their products and to confirm the amount that is in stock. For more information on improving efficiency with barcode technology, download the free white paper entitled "Keeping the Physical World and the Virtual World in Sync" from DMS today.