The Backlog:


After requesting the number of untested rape kits in police storage facilities in Milwaukee as part of The Accountability Project, ENDTHEBACKLOG learned the Wisconsin Attorney General’s Office had conducted a statewide inventory in spring 2014. The Attorney General’s Office asked every law enforcement agency in the state to report the number of untested kits in its jurisdiction. Among the 81% of agencies that responded, there were 6,006 untested rape kits.

Download the public records response here.

In September 2015, the Manhattan District Attorney's Office and the U.S. Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Assistance announced the Wisconsin Department of Justice was awarded $1,999,967 and $2,000,000, respectively, for a total of $3,999,967 in funding to address its backlog through testing kits, investigating and prosecuting cases and re-engaging survivors. 

  • Backlog Status

Counting Complete
In Testing
Not Cleared

* As reported by the Wisconsin State Attorney General's Office in spring 2014

  • Reform Status

Tracking Testing Victim Notification
No Known Reform
Reform in Progress
Partial Reform
Complete Reform
  • Additional Information

In addition to what we know about the backlog in Milwaukee, there is also information about the backlog from other jurisdictions in the state. 

The Madison Police Department reported 400 untested to the Attorney General’s Office. Green Bay reported 322 untested kits, Kenosha reported 231 untested kits—dating back to 2007, Appleton reported 150, Wausau reported 112 and the Dane County Sheriff's Office reported 99 untested kits. Several hospitals also reported having untested kits in their facilities. 

In December 2014, Wisconsin Department of Justice's Sexual Assault Response Team released a plan to address the 6,000 backlogged kits sitting in police evidence. In the plan, they recommended that police do not submit evidence from sexual assault exams to the state crime labs unless victims have consented to cooperate with investigators.

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