MERIDEN CT- In September of last year, the Department of Scientific Services, better known as the state crime lab received a National Institute of Justice grant. The two-year $172,000 grant was given specifically to help reduce the back log of Cold Cases.
DETROIT, MI – Government and police officials in Wayne County announced Tuesday that $3 million in state funds has been used to expand the Wayne County Sexual Assault Kit Task Force.
COLUMBUS – A sexual assault kit testing initiative launched by the Ohio Attorney General’ s Office has now completed testing on more than 7,000 rape kits.
In February, 2012, an exclusive 5 On Your Side Investigation revealed how thousand of rape kits remained untested on police department shelves across Ohio.
ATLANTA (CBS46) – Advocates of sexual assault victims said the findings of a CBS46 investigation into untested rape kits are “very upsetting.
“These kits represent victims,” said Jennifer Bivins, president of the Georgia Network to End Sexual Assault.
ANCHORAGE – The Legislative Budget and Audit Committee approved a request for an audit of the state’s crime lab Thursday.
Sen. Berta Gardner requested the audit after she and her staff received calls regarding the Scientific Crime Detection Laboratory in Anchorage, which processes nearly all of Alaska’s rape kits. The lab was at the center of Gardner’s bill, Senate Bill 54, which seeks answers to questions regarding the possible backlog in rape kits.
Since 11,000 abandoned rape kits were found in 2009, authorities have tested 9,000 and ID’d 255 serial rapists. But more money is needed.
Collecting forensic evidence from a rape victim takes two to six hours at a time when most of us would want nothing more than a hot shower and to crawl under our own covers.
The payoff is that the evidence, especially DNA, can not only confirm a suspect’s identity or that a sexual assault occurred but also solve other crimes — if it’s ever tested by a laboratory.
FRANKFORT, Ky. – The state auditor’s office is sending surveys this week to more than 400 local law enforcement agencies to determine exactly how many sexual assault kits have never been forwarded to Kentucky State Police labs for DNA testing.
Maryland legislators, buoyed by a national campaign and the commitment of federal resources, are considering legislation to eventually clear the backlog of sexual assault forensic kits, or rape kits, in the state.
Anyone who has watched a crime show knows that in TV-land, DNA is collected and processed within a neat and tidy one hour show.
Unfortunately, in the real world, with backlogs at most state labs and more and more cases coming in, the process isn’t nearly as fast.
The day after his daughter, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, announced the formation of a statewide felony sex crime task force, Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan announced Wednesday he will push for a $6 million increase in funding to state and local crime labs that handle rape cases.
DA Vance released a Request for Proposals (RFP) soliciting grant applications for the District Attorney’s $35 million initiative to eliminate backlogs of untested sexual assault evidence kits, or “rape kits,” from jurisdictions across the country. The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office will award successful applicants up to $2 million for a two-year period to aid jurisdictions in analyzing untested, backlogged rape kits. Representatives of 40 jurisdictions from 26 states submitted Expressions of Interest earlier this year, indicating more than 70,000 untested rape kits within their jurisdictions.
MADISON, Wis. – Wisconsin law enforcement will start collecting DNA samples Wednesday from people arrested for certain crimes.
DNA samples will be collected from people being arrested on violent felony charges and everyone convicted of a crime whether it be a misdemeanor or felony, according to a release.
Johannesburg – The SA Police Service (SAPS) had managed to reduced its forensic backlog by 92 percent, it said on Monday.
“Since [the] 2009/10 financial year, the forensic laboratories reduced [the] backlog from 59 023 to [a] commendable level of about 4440 case entries which depicts [a] 92 percent backlog reduction up to the third quarter of 2014/15,” said SAPS spokesman Lt-Gen Solomon Makgale.
This included backlogs in DNA and drug analysis as well as trichology.
Across the country, an estimated 400,000 rape kits—the DNA swabs, hair, photographs, and detailed information gathered from victims of sexual assault and used as evidence for the prosecution to convict rapists—have never been tested. Testing kits can be expensive, and in many jurisdictions, a lack of funds has resulted in kits being consigned to dusty shelves, stored in abandoned police warehouses, or stowed away in forensic labs—sometimes for years. As a result, survivors may never see their rapists prosecuted, and repeat offenders continue to commit crimes.