CASE Sub-topic of Chain of Custody
When evidence is submitted to a lab for analysis, the submitter has the option to submit the evidence as "Urgent" or "Rushed." This normally occurs when the evidence is known to have a quick turnaround (i.e. the case's scheduled court date occurs within a few days, or the evidence is needed to execute a search warrant, etc.). Indicating something as "Urgent" evidence requires examiners/analysts to push that evidence to the front of the analysis queue; that is, that evidence will be examined/analyzed next before continuing to work on any backlog cases/investigations.
An urgent submission which goes through the laboratory will follow an identical process to that of any submission, except in some cases urgent evidence may bypass a standard initial destination of an evidence vault, instead heading straight to processing. The chain of custody would need to accommodate this omitted visit, while still maintaining the integrity of the evidence's handling.
An investigator receives evidence that a submitter has marked as urgent. The following table shows the timeline of this exhibit's processing, jumping straight to a processing kiosk instead of the evidence vault.
|Date / Time||Action|
|01/01/2019 14:00||Exhibit submitted for Kiosk examination|
|01/01/2019 14:05||Exhibit seal checks (passed) & Exhibit receipted in lab|
|01/01/2019 14:05||Exhibit assigned to Kiosk technician|
|01/01/2019 14:15||Sealed Exhibit Photographed|
|01/01/2019 14:20||Exhibit Unsealed|
|01/01/2019 14:21||Unsealed Exhibit Photographed|
|01/01/2019 14:25||Exhibit Connected to Kiosk & process started|
|01/01/2019 14:55||Exhibit Disconnected from Kiosk|
|01/01/2019 15:00||Exhibit Resealed|
|01/01/2019 15:05||Report DVD Generated as associated exhibit|
|01/01/2019 15:10||DVD Report sealed|
|01/01/2019 15:15||Witness statement generated|
|01/01/2019 15:20||Sealed Exhibit handed the OIC & Transfer documentation signed|
For a kiosk investigation the laboratory will not be part of the process, instead the interaction will be directly between the kiosk trained submitting officer and the kiosk used, and will follow a known sequence of steps either directed by a documented instruction/script or directly by the on-screen step processes built into the kiosk itself.
Therefore the only chain of custody information will be that which recorded on the kiosk during the sequence of steps, and would be along the lines of:
and would be automatically generated by the kiosk as part of the data exported in CASE format within the Report package contained on the DVD in the final steps above. The idea being that the kiosk activity could subsequently be imported into a Case Management System for review and quality control.
Note: The above chain of custody details (i.e. unseal, photograph, connect to forensic tool, image, process, disconnect from forensic tool, reseal) are effectively identical to the chain of custody typically used within the laboratory environment.