El Centro – The Honorable Christopher J. Plourd, Presiding Judge of the Imperial County Superior Court, has been appointed to the Forensic Science Standards Board (FSSB), a collaborative body of more than 500 forensic science practitioners and other experts who represent local, state, and federal agencies; academia; and industry.
The FSSB serves as the Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC) governing board; approving standards for listing on the OSAC Registry; and facilitating communication within OSAC and between OSAC and the forensic science community. The OSAC is part of an initiative by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Department of Justice(DOJ) to strengthen Forensic Science in the United States. NIST has established OSAC to support the development and promulgation of forensic science consensus documentary standards and guidelines, and to ensure that a sufficient scientific basis exists for each discipline.
Over the last three years Judge Plourd has served as chair of the NIST-DOJ Forensic Science Standards Board (FSSB) Legal Resource Committee (LRC).
In 2009, a National Academy of Sciences report, Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States identified concerns around forensic science standards and guidelines and recommended improvements to reduce the risk of wrongful convictions and exonerations. The recommendations include improving standardization of protocols, certification of practitioners and accreditation of laboratories. NIST through the OSAC is working with the nation’s forensic science community to coordinate the development of standards and guidelines to improve quality and consistency of work in the forensic science community. NIST established this effort in 2014 to develop a uniform set of standards and guidelines for the practice of forensic science.
For more information on OSAC system please visit the NIST-OSAC web site at: https://www.nist.gov/topics/forensic-science/about-osac