NJP’s work to end backlog covered in Wall St. Journal, Washington Post, and more

NJP is in the news today!  The Wall St. Journal, the Washington Post, Forbes, and the Huffington Post are all covering our work to determine the precise extent of the rape kit backlog.

Here’s an excerpt from the Washington Post story (and you can read all the articles at the links above):

A recently formed organization that contends there is a nationwide backlog of untested rape kits announced Monday it was teaming with a New York university to try to figure out how many are sitting on police department shelves as a first step in clearing the logjam.

Natasha’s Justice Project, based on New York’s Long Island, believes there could be as many as 180,000 untested rape kits in the U.S., said founder Natasha Alexenko. Her group, Stony Brook University researchers and a consulting firm named Strategic Planning will try to determine what the number really is, Alexenko said.

A May report by the National Institute of Justice, the research arm of the U.S. Justice Department, said the exact number of unanalyzed sex assault kits nationally is not known, in part because of an “antiquated process” of reporting in many jurisdictions.

The institute’s survey found that 43 percent of law enforcement agencies lack a computerized system for tracking forensic evidence. It also found that in 18 percent of unsolved sexual assault cases between 2002 and 2007, forensic evidence was collected but never submitted for analysis.

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