Across the country, the rape kit backlog is making headlines. Journalists are uncovering backlogs, jurisdictions are implementing reforms to track and test rape kits and citizens are taking action. In the Media Center, you'll find the latest information about the backlog, including: commentary from the END THE BACKLOG staff and backlog reformers, first-person testimonials from those impacted by the backlog, an archive of news articles, op-eds, investigative reports, legislation and government publications we've identified, and more.
EndTheBacklogNovember 29, 2016
Joyful Heart Foundation Applauds New York Law to Increase Accountability, Transparency for Sexual Assault Survivors
With this bill, New York has joined the growing number of states that have enacted rape kit reform laws.
ENDTHEBACKLOGNovember 14, 2014
This week, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance announced $35 million in funding for jurisdictions to test backlogged rape kits—the single largest financial contribution toward ending the rape kit backlog.
ENDTHEBACKLOGNovember 12, 2014
The rape kit backlog sends two terrible messages: to victims, it says: you don't matter. What happened to you doesn't matter. And to criminals, it says: what you did doesn't matter. Testing the kits reverses those messages.
ENDTHEBACKLOGNovember 12, 2014
Today's announcement is a watershed moment.
THE BACKLOG BLOGMarch 28, 2014
If not for New York City’s rape kit backlog project, Michael Mercer might have spent the rest of his life in prison for a crime he did not commit.
ENDTHEBACKLOGApril 15, 2012
Ann M. is the mother of a survivor who was raped when she was just 12 years old in her own home. Her family had to wait ten years for the perpetrator’s arrest. Ann, along with other courageous survivors, played an integral role in advocating for the recent passage of a law expanding New York State’s DNA Databank to include samples from offenders convicted of all crimes. We thank her for sharing her story and giving a voice to survivors across New York.
ENDTHEBACKLOGMarch 19, 2012
Joyful Heart was honored to join Governor Cuomo in Albany on Monday as he signed the bill expanding New York State’s DNA Databank into law. The bill makes New York the first state in the nation to require DNA samples from anyone convicted of a felony or Penal Law misdemeanor. The new law also expands defendants’ access to DNA testing both before trial and after a conviction based on a guilty plea when appropriate. In other limited circumstances, defendants will now be able to seek discovery of property and other materials to demonstrate their actual innocence after conviction.
EndTheBacklogMarch 13, 2012
Since New York established its DNA Databank in 1996, law enforcement agencies from across the state have solved thousands of crimes—including more than 3,300 sexual assaults and 800 murders. After the state legislature expanded the Databank in 2006 to include certain misdemeanors, police solved 53 murders and 223 sexual assaults using DNA samples from petit larceny convictions alone.