During the summer of 2013, the City of Memphis announced that it had a backlog of 12,164 untested rape kits. That fall, Mayor AC Wharton issued an executive order instructing the police to develop a plan for clearing the backlog as quickly as possible and to provide monthly progress reports. The City is working to pull together resources and estimates it will cost approximately $6.5 million to clear the backlog entirely through testing at a private lab.
In September 2014, the Memphis Police Department (MPD) found an additional 200 untested kits dating back to 1976.
As of October 2015, there are 5,255 kits that have been analyzed and 2,577 are currently at the laboratory awaiting testing. As a result, MPD has opened 782 investigations and 130 requests for indictment have been issued.
In September 2015, the Manhattan District Attorney's Office and the U.S. Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Assistance announced the City of Memphis (Division of Police Services) was awarded $1,995,000 and $1,909,124, respectively, for a total of $3,904,124 in funding to address its backlog through testing kits, investigating and prosecuting cases and re-engaging survivors.
Joyful Heart is working in partnership with Memphis to end its backlog and ensure justice for survivors. We are part of the multidisciplinary team tasked with developing a survivor-centered plan for ending the backlog, re-engaging survivors in the criminal justice process and moving cases forward to prosecution.
For more information about reforms happening in Memphis, click here.
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