The Backlog:

New Jersey

We do not know the extent of the backlog in New Jersey. Like most states, New Jersey does not currently require its law enforcement agencies to track or test rape kits. In fact, just three states do—Colorado, Illinois and Texas—and because of the reforms that these states have implemented, we now have a more accurate picture of the backlog there. This can happen in New Jersey, too. Take action today to advocate for transparency and change from our elected officials.

In December 2014, legislation was introduced that would establish the right to notification for victims as to the status of their rape kit. Law enforcement agencies wold inform the victim of status of processing of all evidence in that case, and victims would have the right to be informed of: whether a DNA profile of an assailant was obtained from processing of evidence, a DNA profile of assailant was entered into a data bank, and whether there was a match between a DNA profile and a DNA profile contained in the data bank. The bill has passed the Assembly Committee and awaits action by the full Assembly.

  • Backlog Status

Testing Status Unknown
  • Reform Status

Tracking Testing Victim Notification
No Known Reform
Reform in Progress
Partial Reform
Complete Reform
  • Additional Information

In July 2014, New Jersey's Acting Attorney General John Hoffman announced a statewide directive requiring longer retention of sexual assault evidence in cases where the survivor has not yet chosen to report the crime to the police. Previously, law enforcement was to retain such evidence for a minimum of 90 days, but the new policy requires retention of the evidence for at least five years. After five years, the Attorney General's Office will have the options of taking custody of the evidence and continuing to preserve it. The new policy also directs healthcare providers to ask whether the survivor wants to be notified at or near the end of the five-year period.

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