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The Backlog

ENDTHEBACKLOG Blog

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 ENDTHEBACKLOG 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.

THE BACKLOG BLOGDecember 20, 2013

What the Numbers - and Lack Thereof - Really Tell Us

When the team at Joyful Heart began gathering data for the new interactive map on endthebacklog.org, illustrating everything we know about the rape kit backlog, we worried that the map might be a bit bare. Looking now at the final version of the map, the results are actually very powerful.

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ENDTHEBACKLOGDecember 10, 2013

Featured Supporter: Sukey Novogratz

Sukey Novogratz, celebrated philanthropist, amazing mother and impassioned yogi and meditator, has been supporting Joyful Heart since 2009 and has made Joyful Heart’s ENDTHEBACKLOG work possible.

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ENDTHEBACKLOGNovember 18, 2013

On Memphis’s 12,000 Untested Rape Kits

Last week, Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong announced that the agency has more than 12,000 untested rape kits sitting in storage facilities—about 4,000 more than previously reported—and that it will take more than $4 million to process them all.

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ENDTHEBACKLOGNovember 7, 2013

Introducing our new website

Joyful Heart is proud to share with you the new ENDTHEBACKLOG.org, our website dedicated to shining a light on and ending the rape kit backlog—hundreds of thousands of rape kits collected in the aftermath of a sexual assault, sitting untested in police and crime lab storage facilities.

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THE BACKLOG BLOGAugust 23, 2013

Communities Commit to Rape Kit Reforms

Recently, the rape kit backlog has been an increasingly common topic in news stories from across the country, from Ohio and Illinois to Texas and Tennessee.

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THE BACKLOG BLOGJuly 12, 2013

Ohio Makes Progress on Rape Kit Testing

As we have shared previously, Ohio is making strides toward ending its rape kit backlog. The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) reports that of 1,165 kits tested so far, there have been 322 DNA matches in CODIS, the Combined DNA Index System. From those matches, the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office has already secured 33 indictments and has an additional 122 leads to investigate.

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THE BACKLOG BLOGJuly 8, 2013

Aurora Police Accidentally Destroys Evidence from 48 Sexual Assault Cases

Last week in Aurora, Colorado, Police Chief Dan Oates announced that evidence from 48 different sexual assault cases was destroyed by mistake. The evidence, all from 2009 cases, had been destroyed during a six-month period beginning in January 2013.

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THE BACKLOG BLOGJune 10, 2013

Michigan and Colorado Working Toward Ending the Backlog

In Michigan, Governor Rick Snyder, Attorney General Bill Schuette and Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy announced the state will dedicate $4 million in legal settlement funds toward clearing the backlog of thousands of untested rape kits in Wayne County. The state legislature must now appropriate the funds through a special funding bill, which has already passed in the House of Representatives. In Colorado, Governor John Hickenlooper signed a bill making the state the third—following Illinois and Texas—to require the testing of all rape kits. Going forward, the newly passed legislation requires law enforcement agencies to submit rape kit evidence for testing within 21 days of receipt.

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