"Not testing kits in a timely manner means a delay in obtaining justice for the thousands of women who underwent a lengthy and physically invasive evidence collection process—after being sexually assaulted—in the hopes that their assailants would be identified and held responsible."
- Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy
On the local level, a small but increasing number of jurisdictions across the country have eliminated local rape kit backlogs, and several more are currently in the process of doing so.
These cities have processed their backlogs in a number of ways, including enacting local ordinances and policies, pulling together funding from various sources and partnering with the state and federal government.
San Francisco, for example, enacted an ordinance requiring its police department to test rape kit evidence within 14 days of receipt. The ordinance included a provision mandating the City and County to appropriate sufficient funds to ensure timely rape kit testing.
When New York City and Los Angeles cleared their backlogs, law enforcement officials implemented policies requiring the testing of all kits booked into evidence. A similar policy is now in place in Detroit as well.
Click on any one of these jurisdictions below to learn more:
In addition to federal grants, funding is often available at the state and local levels, both through public funds and private foundations. Several jurisdictions have also conducted fundraising campaigns to secure private donations for rape kit testing. Additionally, many private crime labs offer discounted rape kit testing to jurisdictions that send a large amount of untested kits at one time.