Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $500,000)
This project will result in two new trainings on forensic tools for ICAC prosecutors and investigators, six webinars on emerging and important issues affecting the use of forensic tools in ICAC cases, and a plethora of resources to aid in the creation of demonstrative exhibits for use in ICAC cases. The National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C), an organization with extensive experience in the development and delivery of prosecutor and investigator training, will lead and manage the project. The National Criminal Justice Training Center of Fox Valley Technical College will assist NW3C in this project. The program goals are to increase the ability of ICAC prosecutors and investigators to use forensic tools and their outputs in a trial setting, thereby increasing trial efficiency, efficacy, and conviction rates. The program’s deliverables include developing two trainings, one 1-day training for prosecutors aimed at fostering an understanding of how forensic tools work and what evidence tools can extract, and one 2-day training for both prosecutors and investigators aimed at improving effective use of tools and the outputs they generate in a trial setting. Both trainings will be modular, and blocks will be presented at three regional ICAC conferences, facilitating access for ICAC prosecutors and investigators. NW3C will host six webinars with three focused on encryption, search and seizure, and updates to forensic tools and the remaining three webinars focused on topics to be determined based on feedback from ICAC investigators and prosecutors. The program will also provide ICAC investigators and prosecutors with resources to create case-specific demonstrable exhibits. Trainings developed under this program will be recorded and hosted for on-demand access, ensuring widespread access by ICAC investigators and prosecutors. NW3C’s team consists of highly experienced digital forensic examiners, former ICAC investigators and commanders, and former state and federal prosecutors experienced in the prosecution of child sex offenses. The team's expertise in the development and delivery of investigator and prosecutor training, combined with their commitment to ongoing support and enhancement, ensures the long-term sustainability of the project's benefits.