WASHINGTON, Nov. 22, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- At the end of 2014, 88 percent of the nation's 409 publicly funded forensic crime laboratories were accredited by a professional forensic science organization, which was up from 82 percent at yearend 2009 and 70 percent at yearend 2002, the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today. The American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board, International, was the most common type of accreditation in 2014. The vast majority (98 percent) of publicly funded crime labs performed proficiency testing to help ensure the accuracy and reliability of their work. Ninety-five percent of crime labs used declared tests (where the examiner knew the sample he or she was analyzing was a test sample). More than a third (35 percent) used random case reanalysis (where the examiner's work was randomly selected for reanalysis by another examiner) and a tenth (10 percent) performed blind proficiency tests (where the examiner was not aware he or she was being tested). The findings are based on the Census of Publicly Funded Forensic Crime Laboratories, which collects data on the budgets, staffing, workload, outsourcing and quality assurance practices of federal, state, county and municipal crime labs nationwide. Private labs were not included in the census. In 2014, publicly funded crime labs employed an estimated 14,300 full-time personnel and had a combined operating budget of $1.7 billion. More than half (60 percent) of the crime lab employees were analysts or examiners who prepared and analyzed evidence and reported on their conclusions. Publicly funded crime labs received an estimated 3.8 million requests for forensic services during 2014. About three-quarters of requests involved the analysis of controlled substances (33 percent), biological samples collected from convicted offenders and arrestees for a DNA database (24 percent) or toxicology (15 percent).