News, media, commentary, testimonials and more in one sortable location.

The Backlog


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.

THE BACKLOG BLOGNovember 26, 2014

Cold Case Convictions: Detroit

An untested rape kit from 1988 was recently tested in Detroit, leading to the arrest and conviction of serial offender Michael Eugene Swygart. Twenty-five years after the rape took place, Swygart has been sentenced to 40-75 years in prison on charges of criminal sexual conduct and kidnapping.


THE BACKLOG BLOGNovember 21, 2014

Cold Case Convictions: Tennessee

This week in our Cold Case Convictions series, where we highlight cases in which the testing of rape kits years later helps bring perpetrators to justice, we turn to Tennessee.


THE BACKLOG BLOGNovember 18, 2014

New Orleans Police Department Special Victims Section Fails To Pursue Hundreds of Sex Crimes

A recent examination of the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) revealed that five seasoned detectives of the Special Victims Section failed to pursue over 800 sex crime cases between 2011 and 2013.


ENDTHEBACKLOGNovember 12, 2014

Remarks of Mariska Hargitay on Manhattan DA's New Initiative to Help End the Rape Kit Backlog

The rape kit backlog sends two terrible messages: to victims, it says: you don't matter. What happened to you doesn't matter. And to criminals, it says: what you did doesn't matter. Testing the kits reverses those messages.


THE BACKLOG BLOGNovember 6, 2014

Experts Explain Why Testing Every Kit Matters

We sometimes hear from jurisdictions that they don’t consider the untested rape kits in their storage facilities to be part of a backlog—that officials actively chose not to test those kits. These jurisdictions fail to see the value of testing every kit booked into evidence, particularly when the identity of the perpetrator is known.


THE BACKLOG BLOGNovember 3, 2014

California Audit Reveals Significant Backlog in Major Metropolitan Areas

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 BLOGOctober 30, 2014

Justice for All: Testing Rape Kits in LGBT Cases

We often hear a variety of reasons why all kits should not be tested. A recent explanation, however, was one we had not heard before. In listing instances in which kits were not sent for testing, documents from one department stated, “No male suspect.” Upon further investigation, we learned this notation meant the case was “a female on female sex crime.”



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