In July 2015, Governor Dannel Malloy signed legislation that establishes deadlines for transferring and testing sexual assault evidence to the Connecticut Forensic Science Lab. Public Act 15-207, An Act Concerning Evidence in Sexual Assault Cases requires sexual assault evidence collection kits to be sent to the state crime lab within 10 days of collection, and must be processed within 60 days. Additionally, kits will be held for up to five years for victims who do not want to immediately make a report to the police.
Connecticut also completed a statewide audit of untested sexual assault kits, and reported a backlog of 879 unprocessed kits at law enforcement agencies across the state. As of July 2015, 476 of those kits have been moved to the crime lab and the remainder are queued up to be transported. Governor Malloy also announced that he will be establishing a multidisciplinary task force to coordinate the tracking and testing of these backlogged kits.
In September 2015, the U.S. Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Assistance announced the Connecticut Department of Emergency Services & Public Protection Division was awarded $1,401,966 in funding to address its backlog through testing kits, investigating and prosecuting cases, and re-engaging victims.
As we have seen from other states that have enacted similar legislation, such reforms allow us to move closer to ending the backlog. Take action today to advocate for transparency and change from our elected officials.
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