Across the country, the rape kit backlog is making headlines. Journalists are uncovering backlogs, jurisdictions are implementing reforms to track and test rape kits and citizens are taking action. In the Media Center, you'll find the latest information about the backlog, including: commentary from the END THE BACKLOG staff and backlog reformers, first-person testimonials from those impacted by the backlog, an archive of news articles, op-eds, investigative reports, legislation and government publications we've identified, and more.
EndTheBacklogFebruary 21, 2017
Earlier this month, Joyful Heart released records acquired from 11 new jurisdictions through The Accountability Project. Using public records requests, we have uncovered more than 34,000 untested rape kits to date.
EndTheBacklogFebruary 15, 2017
In this End The Backlog exclusive, the California Department of Justice Jan Bashinski DNA Laboratory outlines the advantages of the Rapid DNA Service (RADS) system, which is now being expanded across the state.
THE BACKLOG BLOGNovember 3, 2014
A recent audit in California, which closely examined practices in three of the state’s largest metropolitan areas, revealed that over half of the sexual assault kits collected between 2011 and 2013 were never analyzed by crime labs.
THE BACKLOG BLOGAugust 8, 2014
As legislative sessions have come to an end in states across the country, progress has been made in efforts to address the rape kit backlog.
ENDTHEBACKLOGJanuary 31, 2014
As states across the country have opened their legislative sessions since the start of the new year, ENDTHEBACKLOG has been watching closely for rape kit reforms. Starting in 2010, the legislatures in Illinois, Texas and Colorado blazed the trail for mandating the testing of all rape kits booked into police evidence. Other states are beginning to follow their lead to varying degrees.
ENDTHEBACKLOGSeptember 23, 2013
A courageous survivor named Helena and Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy appeared alongside Mariska Hargitay to shed light on the backlog. Helena waited 14 years for justice. Worthy is working to address the backlog of over 11,000 in Detroit.
ENDTHEBACKLOGAugust 29, 2013
At the 2013 National Sexual Assault Conference, Joyful Heart presented a workshop on our research on victim notification and the rape kit backlog, defining victim notification and current practices across the country and walking the audience through the many decisions jurisdictions face when notifying survivors that their rape kits were part of a backlog. They were joined by a panel of experts who have direct experience with notification: Detective James Blocker of the LA Police Department (LAPD), Robert Taylor, Assistant Director of the LA Sheriff's Department (LASD) Crime Lab, and Anne Kinetra, an investigator with the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office.
EndTheBacklogOctober 19, 2011
Governor Jerry Brown has returned Assembly Bill 322 to the California State Assembly without his signature. AB 322 would have established a two-and-a-half-year pilot program to test all rape kits in ten California counties that make arrests in fewer than 12% of reported forcible rapes.