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**A printer-friendly 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.

General Packaging Requirements and Tips 

  • ALL Evidence packaging must be at least 6" long on one side.
    • Manila window envelopes are ideal packaging as they are both breathable and allow for viewing the contents. Paper bags, plastic zip-type bags and manila envelopes of an appropriate size are also good choices.
  • Swab boxes must be packaged inside another paper bag/envelope. 
  • Glass containers should be avoided. If necessary, they must be packaged inside another non-breakable container (paint can, plastic container) to prevent breakage. 
  • Evidence that has any suspected biohazardous material on it must be clearly marked on the outer packaging with a BIOHAZARD sticker.
  • Syringes must be packaged in clear, puncture-resistant packaging (i.e. syringe tube), and the tube should further be packaged inside a window envelope or clear plastic bag (if no BIO exams are requested).
  • All suspected PCP or butane honey oil must be packaged in arson packaging (paint can or arson bag).
  • All evidence for BIO exams must be packaged in breathable packaging (e.g paper bag, window envelope)

Sealing the Evidence

A package is properly sealed if:

  1. It prevents loss, cross-transfer or contamination of the evidence.
  2. 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.  


Last updated: 3/10/2015 3:44:01 PM