The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation estimates that there are approximately 20,000 untested rape kits at law enforcement agencies statewide. The State legislature recently passed a bill that could provide a more precise number.
If signed by the Governor, Senate Bill 1426 will require law enforcement agencies to conduct an inventory of the untested rape kits in their custody and report the number to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) by July 1, 2014. TBI would then report the total number of untested kits to the legislature by September 1, 2014.
State Representative Antonio Parkinson introduced additional legislation on January 6, 2014, that would go a step further and require all Tennessee law enforcement agencies to count the previously untested rape kits in their custody and then submit those kits to the crime lab for testing within six months of the law's effective date. As to newly collected rape kits, law enforcement agencies would be required to send them to the crime lab for testing within 10 business days of receipt. The crime lab would then have six months to process that evidence. It is unlikely that this proposed legislation will pass as this year's state budget failed to include any funding for rape kit testing.
As we have seen in the three states—Colorado, Illinois and Texas—that have enacted similar legislation, such reforms allow us to move closer to ending the backlog. This can happen in Tennessee, too. Take action today to advocate for transparency and change from our elected officials.
Testing Status Unknown
|Tracking||Testing||Victim Notification||No Known Reform||Reform in Progress||Partial Reform||Complete Reform|
In addition to what we know about the backlog in Memphis, there is also information about the backlog from other jurisdictions in the state.
The Shelby County Sheriff's Office reported in April 2014 that it had approximately 314 untested rape kits in its custody. The Office has requested $75,000 from the County in its fiscal year 2015 budget to process those kits.
April 16, 2014
April 15, 2014
April 14, 2014
April 12, 2014
April 12, 2014
Featured National News
April 13, 2014
April 7, 2014
April 1, 2014
March 27, 2014
March 21, 2014