Category Archives: Backlogs

App Developers Hope To Battle Rape Kit Backlog With NowtRKit

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A group of engineers are using their technology to help end the backlog of rape kits — with an app.

Wisconsin rape kits testing yields new suspects in 11 cases

MADISON – Wisconsin’s four-year effort to address a mountain of untested evidence from old sexual assault cases is beginning to yield results: DNA from at least 20 cases has been matched with national offender databases.

Wisconsin DOJ Contracts With 2 More Labs To Test Sexual Assault Kits

The Wisconsin Department of Justice is contracting with two more private labs to analyze untested sexual assault kits.

Maryland’s DNA database records its 6,000th hit

A milestone for Maryland’s DNA database. It has now recorded 6,000 positive comparisons or hits.
Earlier this month, scientists at the Maryland State Police Forensics Science Division forwarded information to detectives that the 6,000th positive DNA comparison through the use of Maryland’s DNA database was connected to an open 2012 robbery.

5,000 rape kits result in 1,300 DNA “hits” in Florida

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) – Nearly 5,600 previously unprocessed sexual assault kits have now been tested, according to new statistics released by the attorney general’s office.
These recently processed kits have resulted in nearly 1,400 hits in a federal DNA database. Prior to a 2016 law, Florida had not required rape kits to be tested.

Schimel defends delays in rape kit testing

Wisconsin’s top prosecutor is addressing delays in clearing a backlog of thousands of untested rape kits.
The Department of Justice received a $2 million federal grant in 2015 to test 6,386 rape kits from sexual assault cases that had been left untouched. In some cases, the kits had been in police evidence lockers and hospitals for decades after not being processed for a variety of reasons, such as the crime being solved without the use of DNA evidence.

Georgia breaks 6,000 criminal offender DNA matches

The GBI manages Georgia’s CODIS database of convicted felons and felony probationers, which has 347,145 DNA profiles, of which 324,864 are offender and/or probationer profiles.

DOJ launches website tracking backlog of untested sexual assault kits

The Wisconsin Department of Justice announced a new website last month to keep the public informed on the number of untested sexual assault kits, otherwise known as “rape kits.”
Currently there are 6,391 previously untested kits, 4,067 kits of which are designated for testing.

Attorney General DeWine Announces 13,000 Rape Kits Tested as Part of Special Initiative

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)— Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced that more than 13,000 sexual assault kits have now been analyzed as part of a special Attorney General’s Office initiative to test thousands of previously untested rape kits in the state of Ohio.
Nearly 300 local law enforcement agencies submitted a total of 13,931 sexual assault kits for analysis as part of Attorney General DeWine’s Sexual Assault Kit (SAK) Testing Initiative. As of October 1, 2017, 13,145 of the submitted kits – or 94 percent – have been tested by forensic scientists with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI).

Continued funding needed for DNA lab

Reduced federal funding for the University of North Texas Center for Human Identification comes with serious national implications — especially for smaller law enforcement agencies.
The National Institute of Justice has diverted grant funding that used to go to labs analyzing DNA to identify missing people and the unidentified dead.

State officials say 95 untested sexual assault kits sent for testing

The Iowa Attorney General’s Office said that 95 out of more than 4,200 untested sexual assault kits that have been sitting in evidence in law enforcement agencies across the state have been sent for testing as of Friday.

61 cases under investigation as rape kit test results return

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The State Attorney’s Office and the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office are getting results from rape kits that were left untested for years.
About a year and a half ago, there was a big push to test DNA evidence that had stacked up for decades. More than 1,400 untested rape kits were sent to the lab from the Northeast Florida area.
The results are being put into a national database to see if a suspect can be identified by tracing DNA — and it’s working.

New money means more GBI scientists to test rape kits for DNA

For years, thousands of rape kits sat in storage at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation untouched and untested as the agency’s crime lab found itself short-staffed and unable to keep pace.
But an influx of more than $850,000 in new funding from the state to add more scientists and lab technicians has officials hopeful the agency will eventually eliminate the rape kit backlog.

Orange County supervisors pass $6.2 billion budget, which increases deputies’ pay, hires more forensic scientists

The sheriff’s department also will add four new deputy positions to patrol the county’s unincorporated areas, four crime lab analysts to test DNA in criminal cases, and six forensic scientists to address a backlog in testing sexual assault evidence. Those additional scientists will help process rape kits in under a month – which in line with national recommendations – instead of the 30 to 45 days the process now takes in the county.

Virginia deserves applause for its work to eliminate a rape kit backlog

NOTHING IS a more powerful symbol of the failure of the criminal justice system to take sexual assault seriously than the tens of thousands of rape kits that languish — untested — in police departments and crime labs across the country. So when authorities undertake to eliminate the existing backlog and prevent future ones, it is a sign of a new approach that prioritizes getting justice for victims and holding offenders accountable. That is what is happening in Virginia, and it should be applauded.