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(science and technology)
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the science that develops a system of special procedures, methods, and means for collecting, studying, and evaluating legal evidence used in criminal proceedings for the purpose of preventing, exposing, or investigating crimes. These procedures and methods are also used in the judicial consideration of criminal and sometimes civil cases.

The most important divisions of Soviet criminalistics are criminalistic technique and criminalistic tactics and methods of investigating and preventing various types of crime. Criminalistic technique is a system of special procedures and scientific-technical means for collecting, recording, and studying evidence. This division of criminalistics includes forensic ballistics, traceology (the forensic study of traces), forensic graphology, odorology (using odors in the investigation of crime), and dactyloscopy. Criminalistic technique is making more extensive use of advances in the natural and technical sciences and employing mathematical and statistical methods, computer equipment, and the methods of gas chromatography and spectroscopy. This trend has resulted in the development of a new set of methods for investigating handwriting, compiling a “word portrait,” and obtaining copies of traces in traceology. Criminalistic technique also requires extensive use of special technical equipment in investigation and examination.

By generalizing experience in the investigation and prevention of crime, studying methods used by criminals, and employing scientific advances made in different fields (physics, chemistry, biology), criminalistics develops criminalistic tactics—a system of procedures permitting the most effective use of the possibilities of each investigative and judicial action and of operational searches, taking into account the specific circumstances of the case. The procedures of criminalistic tactics are used extensively in identification and in conducting investigative experiments, searches, and other investigative actions. Criminalistic technique and tactics are inseparably linked because the development of criminalistic technique gives rise to new tactical procedures for using the technique. The variety of procedures used in investigating specific types of crime (murder, theft of state or personal property, bribery) constitutes the set of methods for investigating particular types of crime. This “particular methodology” serves as a guide for determining the sequence and nature of investigative acts and operational searches during the investigation and judicial examination of crimes of a particular category; it is also used in selecting the procedures and means of criminalistic technique and tactics.

Criminalistics also deals with problems of preventing crime.


Kriminalistika. Moscow, 1971.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
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Louis Metropolitan Police Department, testified that the report was in fact prepared by the department's chief criminalist in the regular course of business of the Police Department approximately one week after the material was received, as well as basic information about the tests ran on the evidence and the results yielded by those tests.
During the Simpson trial, for example, Dennis Fung, an LAPD criminalist, discussed the forensic evidence he found in Simpson's white Bronco, at Simpson's Rockingham estate, and then at Bundy.
And the word 'criminalist' doesn't exist, you dolt!"
Whether a forensic scientist, psychologist, medical examiner, or homicide detective, the hero of the contemporary detective film is the "criminalist." He/she must possess a diverse range of skills and specialized knowledge--an expert not only of forensic science, behavioral science, and profiling, but also culture in general.
However, he was also the chief criminalist for Connecticut for more than 20 years.
They owe part to executive story editor Elizabeth Devine (a criminalist with the LAPD) and to two nonconventional screen queens.
These questions demonstrate that all of the resources of the investigator, criminalist, and crime laboratory could be rendered useless if evidence remains undiscovered, ignored, or contaminated.
Rhyme is New York's ace criminalist, a forensic scientist of formidable skill but now confined to a wheelchair after an accident left him paralysed from the neck down.
A building construction boss could "shoot a roll" of the site daily and send the pictures to the architect; a real estate agent could build a home walkthrough; cops on the heat could shoot pictures of an accident site without waiting for the criminalist. And, once captured, any interested party could browse pictures--directly from the camera, with an Ethernet interface, with no custom programming.