New Delhi, Delhi, India: In a compelling debate on forensic DNA technology’s role in fighting crime, organised at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club–South Asia, forensic, legal, and policy experts attributed the rise in crimes against women in India to more reporting of cases rather than an extraordinary spike in violence.
Category Archives: Backlogs
MADISON, Wis. (WBAY) State legislators want new laws in Wisconsin to protect victims of sexual assault and ensure there’s never another backlog of untested rape kits.
Sexual assault kit testing was one of former state attorney general Brad Schimel’s big initiatives, pushing to have all untested kits submitted to a crime lab, then having the DNA of the offender entered into national DNA databases.
Maryland has now recorded its 7000th positive hit on its DNA database.
State Police say the hit involved a case out of Charles County. It was part of a 2003 rape case.
The effort to address a backlog of sexual assault kits nationwide has led to tens of thousands of long-shelved kits being tested over the last several years. The FBI Laboratory alone tested more than 3,600 kits in a four-year effort to assist state and local agencies.
The work being done to inventory and test the evidence kits is one part of the story. The other part is what has been discovered about the serial nature of many sexual offenders as thousands of cases are added into the FBI’s national DNA and violent crime databases.
Report says that “eliminating the nationwide backlog is not a program goal.”
Survivors of sexual assault in Illinois will soon be able to track their rape kits online without compromising privacy.
An online sexual assault tracking system is in creation by the state’s Division of Forensic Services, according to Illinois State Police.
For 15 years, the Justice Department has tried to reduce the backlog of crime scene DNA samples awaiting testing at state and local crime labs. But despite about $1 billion in federal spending to cut the number of untested cases, the number has grown by 85 percent in the past six years, according to a Government Accountability Office report issued Friday.
NEW YORK (AP) – Languishing evidence in over 100,000 sexual assault cases around the country has been sent for DNA testing with money from a New York prosecutor and federal authorities, spurring over 1,000 arrests and hundreds of convictions in three years, officials say.
It’s estimated that another 155,000 or more sex assault evidence kits still await testing, and thousands of results have yet to be linked to suspects. Many who have been identified can’t be prosecuted because of legal time limits and other factors.
PORTLAND — A new report says the elimination of Oregon’s backlog of untested rape kits has led to hundreds of new DNA profiles being added to a national database and multiple cases having been prosecuted.
The report was released this week by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office in New York. Oregon was one of 20 states to benefit from a sweeping, $38 million grant program created in 2015 to process thousands of untested rape kits across the country.
It’s estimated that hundreds of thousands of rape kits still sit untested in police facilities around the country.
While the majority of sex crimes go unreported, according to U.S. Department of Justice data, victims who pursue criminal charges often spend years waiting for justice. In Washington, thousands of survivors who underwent sexual assault forensic examinations to provide police with evidence kits remain in limbo, not knowing what became of their kits and hoping a new state tracking system will provide a sense of closure and justice.
In 2015, President Barack Obama proposed the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI), a $41 million fund intended to reduce the backlog of untested rape kits sitting in storage around the US. As NPQ reported, the rape kit backlog is a priority for the Joyful Heart Foundation, which is privately funded. Fourteen years after Joyful Heart was founded and three years into the US Department of Justice’s SAKI grants program, what’s the status of the backlog?
Former Gov. Eric Greitens signed a bill from state lawmakers that requires the creation of a more formal, electronic tracking system. The new law also will allow victims to access the system to track the status of their forensic evidence.
The process is straightforward — or as straightforward as anything can be at the Department of Motor Vehicles. Texans renewing or applying for a driver’s license have the option to check a box and donate funds to help officials test backlogged rape kits in police departments across the state.
Five months in, the crowdfunding law has raised $250,000, with individual donations ranging from $1 to $5,000.
HOUSTON – The Houston Forensic Science Center is working to eliminate their backlog by temporary utilizing a private laboratory for DNA testing.
The HFSC is planning to send most incoming DNA work to a private lab over about 10 months as it eliminates a backlog and builds a sustainable process that helps avoid future backlogs.