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These problems have dealt with the mechanical or operational

processes. However, there are other problems dealing with the

completing of the descriptive information. The fingerprint card may be

returned because of the lack of information in the spaces provided,

such as name, sex, race, height, weight, etc. Any discrepancies in

this information may necessitate the return of the fingerprint card.

The succes
and value of the FBI's fingerprint files to all law

enforcement agencies are dependent, in a large measure, on the legibly

inked fingerprints taken by law enforcement agencies.

Figure 386 shows an enlarged portion of the bulb of a finger revealing

the microscopic structure of the friction skin. The epidermis consists

of two main layers, namely, the stratum corneum, which covers the

surface, and the stratum mucosum, which is just beneath the covering

surface. The stratum mucosum is folded under the surface so as to form

ridges which will run lengthwise and correspond to the surface

ridges. However, these are twice as numerous since the deeper ridges

which correspond to the middle of the surface ridges alternate with

smaller ones which correspond to the furrows. The sweat pores run in

single rows along the ridges and communicate through the sweat ducts

with the coil sweat glands which are below the entire epidermis. The

friction ridges result from the fusion in rows of separate epidermic

elements, such as the dot shown on the left. Generally speaking, when

an individual bruises or slightly cuts the outer layer or stratum

corneum of the bulb of the finger, the ridges will not be permanently

defaced. However, if a more serious injury is inflicted on the bulb of

the finger, thereby damaging the stratum mucosum, the friction skin

will heal, but not in its original formation. The serious injury will

result in a permanent scar appearing on the bulb of the finger.