Automated Fingerprint Identification Systems (AFIS)


  • Peter Komarinski, Master of Arts, Criminal Justice, Criminal Justice Policy Analyst, New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (Ret). Chair, AFIS Committee, International Association for Identification. Biometric Consultant.

An easy-to-understand synopsis of identification systems, presenting in simple language the process of fingerprint identification, from the initial capture of a set of finger images, to the production of a Rapsheet. No other single work exists which reviews this important identification process from beginning to end. We examine the identification process for latent (crime scene) prints and how they are identified with these systems. While the primary focus is automated fingerprint identifications, the book also touches on the emergence and use of fingerprints in other biometric systems.Criminal justice administrators, policy makers, and students of forensic science and criminal justice will find a reference to the known limitations and advantages of these systems.This book provides information as to the critical and continual need for properly trained individuals as well as an understanding of the direct and indirect costs associated with maintaining these systems. An understanding of the entire system and what it means will prove invaluable. Why are there missed identifications? Why are identifications made on one database that are not made on another database? Key terms and issues are included, and well as suggestions for improving the overall number of identifications.The book will go beyond process and also discuss issues such as interoperability, management strategies for large databases, contract development, lights out verification and several other issues which impact automated identifications.
View full description


Students in criminal justice and forensic science programs, the thousands of AFIS and related identification staff who work daily with these identification systems, crime scene investigators, latent fingerprint and forensic friction ridge examiners and consulting experts, crime laboratory directors and staff, and forensic scientists AFIS/ Biometric policy makers, AFIS vendors, new markets interested in using biometric and fingerprint identification including airports and computers vendors (in the biometric access control community).


Book information

  • Published: December 2004
  • ISBN: 978-0-12-418351-3


"This book provides a tremendous amount of valuable and practical information and guides for criminal justice practitioners, identification staff, booking officers, the courts, district attorneys, and others who depend on accurate and prompt delivery of identification information." (Criminal Justice Review) "This easy-to-understand book presents a comprehensive overview of the automated fingerprint identification process, its characteristics, challenges, opportunities, and trade-offs." (Criminal Justice Review)

Table of Contents

Introduction; History of Automated Fingerprint Identification System; Fingerprints Are Unique; AFIS Summary – How The System Works; From Print To Identification; Current Issues; Buying an AFIS System: The Basic Documents Needed; Standards And Interoperability; Contractual Issues Regarding the Purchase of an Automated Fingerprint Identification System; Case Study – Diamonds In The Rough: Increasing The Number Of Latent Print Identifications; Appendices: Glossary; International Association For Identification – 1998 IAI AFIS Committee Report on Cross-Jrisdictional Use Of AFIS Systems; NCIP Funding, 1995-2003