General Packaging Tips
- Evidence packaging needs to be properly sized to accommodate bar-coding, opening and resealing by crime lab personnel. This packaging should be at least 6" long on one side.
- Paper bags, plastic zip-type bags and manila envelopes of an appropriate size are all good choices.
- Plastic bags smaller than sandwich bags are NOT appropriate.
- Swab boxes should be packaged inside another paper bag.
- Glass containers should be avoided. If necessary, they should be packaged inside another non-breakable container (paint can, plastic container) to prevent breakage.
- Evidence that has any biohazardous material on it (blood, etc.) must be clearly marked on the outer packaging with a BIOHAZARD sticker.
Sealing the Evidence
A package is properly sealed if:
- It prevents loss, cross-transfer or contamination of the evidence.
- Entering the container results in obvious damage/alteration to the container or seal.
The seal must consist of evidence tape, self-sealing evidence bags or heat seals. Please ensure when using evidence tape that the tape completely covers open seams/edges of the container.
Initials or other identification of the sealer (badge number, etc) must be ON or ACROSS the seal.
A printable JCSO Crime Laboratory tip sheet on packaging and other submission guidelines is available.
The JCSO Crime Laboratory does not endorse or recommend the guidelines found in the following document, but simply provides it as a resource you may find useful to review. "The Biological Evidence Preservation Handbook: Best Practices for Evidence Handlers" is a publication of the NIST Technical Working Group on Biological Evidence Handling.