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The Backlog

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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.

EndTheBacklogJanuary 23, 2017

No testing, no pattern. Serial rapist connected to seven assaults in Dallas.

At least seven sexual assaults in Dallas have been connected to one man, Joseph Beaty. Although the first known assault occurred in 2009, and a rape kit was collected, Beaty is only now being prosecuted for his crimes.

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THE BACKLOG BLOGNovember 2, 2015

ENDTHEBACKLOG News: November 2015

This month, we take an inside look at the 2nd Annual Sexual Assault Kit Summit for Cities and have two featured guest blogs: Kentucky State Auditor Adam Edelen and Texas Department of Public Safety Assistant Director Skylor Hearn take us inside their states' audit process.

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THE BACKLOG BLOGOctober 28, 2015

Lessons Learned from the Texas Rape Kit Audit

There are hundreds of thousands of untested rape kits in the United States. To address this problem, many states are in the process of debating, developing or enacting some form of mandatory sexual assault kit legislation. While recent national news articles on this issue may characterize it as a current event, the State of Texas has been working to address this issue for more than four years.

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THE BACKLOG BLOGMarch 5, 2015

Houston reaches significant milestone in addressing untested rape kit backlog

Last week, Houston officials announced that testing has been completed on 6,663 previously untested rape kits, some dating as far back as the 1980s.

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THE BACKLOG BLOGAugust 20, 2014

Cold Case Convictions: Using DNA to Exonerate the Innocent

We turn to the story of 57-year-old Michael Phillips of Dallas, Texas, who was exonerated on July 25 after having spent 12 years in prison on charges of rape.

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THE BACKLOG BLOGFebruary 21, 2014

Guest Post: Taking a Holistic Approach to Ending Houston's Backlog

A problem-solving approach that involves multiple stakeholder groups can be very effective.

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ENDTHEBACKLOGJanuary 31, 2014

Progress Ahead as More States Consider Proactive Rape Kit Reforms

As states across the country have opened their legislative sessions since the start of the new year, ENDTHEBACKLOG has been watching closely for rape kit reforms. Starting in 2010, the legislatures in Illinois, Texas and Colorado blazed the trail for mandating the testing of all rape kits booked into police evidence. Other states are beginning to follow their lead to varying degrees.

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THE BACKLOG BLOGJanuary 23, 2014

The White House Report: A Commitment, a Call to Action and a Look at the Work that Remains

Yesterday's report on sexual assault from the White House demonstrates the Administration's deep commitment to ending sexual violence and improving the responses of our government, our criminal justice system, our schools and our communities, but also identifies that there is still a great deal of work to be done.

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