History

Our experts are dedicated to producing cutting-edge research that supports the administration of justice while training the next generation of forensic scientists and professionals. We endeavor to transfer technologies from other disciplines for use in forensic applications, provide scientific expertise to the law enforcement, legal, national defense, and practitioner communities and provide needed continuing education as well as advanced training to practicing scientists.

Building upon decades of experience, the Global Forensic and Justice Center (GFJC) was founded in 2018 by members of the International Forensic Research Institute and the National Forensic Science Technology Center. The two organizations independently created innovative and functional solutions for the forensic science community, not just in the state of Florida, but across the world. Together as GFJC we have been able to forge new avenues where science is needed to serve justice. In 2022, the founding organizations became a single entity with the mission to provide a comprehensive approach in science serving justice.

GFJC connects with students, industry partners and customers from our two offices located in Miami at FIU’s beautiful Modesto A. Maidique Campus and Largo, the Tampa Bay area’s fourth largest city, both with access to nearby international airports. From providing unique hands-on experiences, to preparing new graduates for the workforce, to conducting continuing education training for working practioners in forensic science, GFJC provides support to move the forensic science and criminal justice communities forward.

  • Biscane Bay, Miami FL

  • Tampa Bay, FL

IFRI

In 1997, the International Forensic Research Institute (IFRI) was the first academic forensic center approved by the State of Florida to serve law enforcement efforts in the application of scientific principles to the administration of justice. FIU has one of the oldest undergraduate forensic science programs in the State of Florida with the Criminalistics Chemistry program beginning in 1974, an undergraduate Certificate in Forensic Science beginning in 1997, the first State approved Master of Science in Forensic Science starting in 1998, a Professional Science Master’s in Forensic Science and a recently launched PhD in Forensic Science. 

The partnerships between IFRI, law enforcement agencies, government laboratories and corporations resulted in a unique center for research and training. Dozens of affiliated faculty conducted research and provided forensic expertise and complemented by more than 100 scientists in the local laboratories at the Miami-Dade Police Department, Dade County Medical Examiner’s Office, Broward Sheriff’s Office, Broward County Medical Examiner’s Office and the Drug Enforcement Administration Southeast Laboratory.

IFRI served local and national law enforcement efforts in the application of scientific principles to the administration of justice. The mission of this self-supporting institute was to conduct original research in forensic science, transfer technologies from other scientific disciplines for use in forensic applications, provide scientific expertise to the law enforcement and legal community and provide needed continuing education and advanced training to practicing scientists.

This institute evolved from a long successful criminalistics chemistry program in the FIU Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry with dozens of FIU students completing internships at the Miami-Dade Police Department’s Crime Lab and other forensic science laboratories. The institute’s various certificates and degrees at both the undergraduate and graduate level are now offered through GFJC.

NFSTC

In 1995, members of the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors realized the need for an organization with a focus on elevating the quality and consistency of forensic services in our nation’s crime laboratories. Out of that realization was born the National Forensic Science Technology Center, a non-profit organization with one staff person, $1,500 and a charge to “do good things” for the industry. Offices for NFSTC were established at St. Petersburg College, in St. Petersburg, Florida. The early years were focused on laying the groundwork for future programs.

NFSTC 1996

For 23 years, scientists and specialists at NFSTC continued to provide training, support and technology evaluations for agencies and laboratories across the country. In addition, NFSTC developed and delivered services for a variety of Department of Defense customers, private laboratories and corporations.

As of January 1, 2018, NFSTC joined the FIU team to expand and strengthen forensic science services provided to present and future customers. In June 2018, NFSTC@FIU was named a component of the Global Forensic and Justice Center, expanding collaborative forensic and justice programs, service, technology and research work across the university. We strive to serve all stakeholders with timely, necessary services to improve the practice and quality of forensic science at every level.