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, but State Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle introduced legislation in January 2014 that would change that. The bill would require law enforcement to submit newly collected rape kits for testing within 10 business days of receipt and the crime lab to process that evidence within six months of receipt if sufficient staffing and resources are available. The legislation would also mandate that each law enforcement agency provide an inventory of all previously untested kits to the State within 45 days of the law's effective date, and submit those kits for testing within six months. 

As we have seen in the three states—Colorado, Illinois and Texas—that have enacted similar legislation, such reforms allow us to have a more accurate picture of the backlog. This can happen in New Jersey, too. Take action today to advocate for transparency and change from our elected officials.

  • 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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