The Backlog:


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. 

As of August 2014, at least partial processing of more than 4,000 backlogged kits had resulted in 162 investigations and 22 indictments. An additional 16 suspects were identified as having already been convicted of the assault in question. In September 2014, the Memphis Police Department found an additional 200 untested kits dating back to 1976. 

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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