We do not know the extent of the backlog in Virginia—there is only information about the backlog at the local level, which you can see below. Like most states, Virginia does not currently require its law enforcement agencies to count or test rape kits, but legislation now pending in the General Assembly of Virginia would change that.
Senate Bill No. 658 would require law enforcement agencies to conduct an inventory of the untested kits in their custody and make arrangements to submit those kits for testing by January 1, 2015. The Department of Forensic Science would then submit a report to the General Assembly summarizing the results of the statewide inventory and its plan for testing the kits submitted in accordance with the law. The bill instructs the Department to make recommendations regarding kits "for which testing would be impractical or unproductive." The bill also states that its provisions would not take effect unless the General Assembly made an appropriation to fund the legislation's requirements.
As we have seen in the three states—Colorado, Illinois and Texas—that have enacted similar legislation, such reforms allow us to have a more accurate picture of the backlog. This can happen in Virginia, 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 November 2013, an 8News investigation uncovered 75 rape kits sitting in the evidence room at the Richmond Police Department and 125 kits at the Chesterfield County Police Department. The Henrico County Police Division was unable to provide an inventory of untested kits in its custody.
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