Fingerprint Exercise in Criminal Justice

The Community College of Baltimore County School of Business, Criminal Justice and Law Criminalistics CRJU 112

Module 06: Fingerprints and Other Personal Identification Patterns Module Introduction This module discusses the importance of fingerprint evidence, the properties that make them individual, the collection and preservation of fingerprints, and the processes used for classifying and comparing fingerprint evidence. Also included is a discussion on the methods and processes for identifying human remains. Module Objectives Upon completion of this module the student will be able to:

Explain friction ridge skin and how it makes up fingerprints. 2. Describe the procedures for visualizing latent fingerprints. 3. Outline the methods for collecting and preserving latent fingerprints. 4. Identify the three types of evidentiary fingerprints. 5. Described how latent fingerprints are compared against inked fingerprints 6. Recognize other patterns for personal identification Learning Activities Address the following learning activities for successful completion of this module:

· Read Chapter 6 (pp. 123 – 148)

· Review the key terms on page 148

· Review the video titled Latent Fingerprints

· Complete the following writing assignments:

Part A.) Answer the following review questions – short answer on pages 148-149 (worth up to 10 points): 1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, and 10.

Part B.) Answer the following fill-in-the-blank & multiple-choice questions: 1 through 5 (Page 149) (worth up to 5 points). Part C.) Select five items from the list of evidence below and identify a process for developing latent fingerprints on each of the items selected (see further instructions at the bottom of the page):

– white pillowcase (stained with what appears to be a blood) – pry bar (used by burglar to pry open a door) – brown glass beer bottle (left behind at a crime scene by a suspect) – aluminum beer can (left behind at a crime scene by a suspect) – white piece of paper with writing (left behind at a bank robbery) – wet music CD (dropped by suspects after breaking into a car) – 9mm blue-steel semiautomatic handgun (dropped outside a bank after a robbery) – hardcover textbook (found in a classroom that was forcibly entered) – car fender (wet) (recovered stolen vehicle) – plastic candy bar wrapper (left in recovered stolen vehicle)


The PPTs, textbook, and Internet research will help with determining suitable techniques and processes for developing fingerprints on the listed items.

1.) SELECT ONLY FIVE ITEMS from the list of evidence above and provide a physical and/or chemical process you would use to develop fingerprints on each item and why (worth up to 10 points).

Hint: List each item separately (do not bundle items) and explain what processes and techniques you feel will work best for developing fingerprints on each item. You should also consider the condition of each item (i.e. wet, biological, porous, non-porous, ferrous metal, non-ferrous metal).

For example, what process do you think will work best for developing latent prints on the beer can: is it dusting with powder, magnetic powder, or would a chemical method such as Cyanoacrylate (super glue) work best? Besides identifying a process, explain why you would use that process. More than one process may develop prints on each of the items listed. You only need to identify a single process that you think will work best for the given condition of the evidence and provide why you elected that process. Explanations such as “it is easier, it is cheaper, it is the best method available, or it is quicker” are not appropriate explanations. You should also stay away from light sources and just stick with the physical and chemical methods.

2.) Discussion posting:

After the due date and time of this assignment , in the Discussion Board, click on the forum for Module 6 and click on “Create Thread”. In the subject line, type Module 6, Part C. For an additional ten points, (1) copy and paste your work to the discussion board and (2) respond to at least two other students (threads) and their responses. The forum for this assignment will be available after the due date and time for the assignment (worth up to 10 points).


Save your work on your computer or some other memory device using a file name that you will remember for work associated with this module. Once you have a saved copy on your computer, click on the Assignment Box in the Course Menu (left side of screen) and click on Module 6. Submit Parts A, B, and C as a single attachment. For your discussion posting, copy and paste your work for Part C to the Discussion Board (no attachment).

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