The Backlog:

San Francisco

In 2010, San Francisco enacted a city ordinance requiring the testing of all rape kits. In 2013, local reporters discovered, however, that the police department did not go back and test kits from before the ordinance took effect. There were 196 untested kits from 2009 and 2010.

The department then conducted an audit to determine whether there were untested kits from before 2009. In total, the audit uncovered 753 untested rape kits dating from 2003 to 2013. The audit also revealed 437 older kits for which the statute of limitations had expired. The SFPD has reported that all of the 753 kits related to prosecutable cases have been tested and they recently sent for testing the 437 kits beyond the statute of limitations. Of the 753 kits, ninety-seven percent contained sufficient evidence to merit uploading the data into the Federal Bureau of Investigation's CODIS database and 231 samples could be attributed to a presumed perpetrator. In response to continuing concerns about SFPD’s rape kit procedures, the state police commission recently ruled that the agency must submit public reports twice per year documenting the analysis of rape kits.  

Going forward, the department has changed its policy from testing a newly collected kit only when the suspect is unknown to testing all kits. 

For more information on reforms happening in San Francisco, click here

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