NEWS

Illinois Will Begin Tracking Rape Kits Online By End Of The Year

By Alison Bowen
Chicago Tribune

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) As Alison Bowen reports, “In the past, rape kit processing has been plagued by missteps, lost evidence and, too frequently, a void of information for the women who have the most at stake.” Now victims will be able to monitor their cases online step by step.

Chicago Tribune

Sexual assault victims in Illinois will soon be able to follow the progress of their rape kits.

By the end of the year, Illinois will join other states in implementing an online tracking system to monitor the DNA evidence, according to Illinois State Police’s acting director Brendan Kelly.

“Survivors of sexual assault or violent crime shouldn’t be left in the dark while their kit makes its way through a system that can seem cold and indifferent,” Kelly said in a statement Sunday announcing the online tracking plan.

In the past, rape kit processing has been plagued by missteps, lost evidence and, too frequently, a void of information for the women who have the most at stake.

Sexual assault survivors will be able to monitor where evidence is throughout the evidence process, including at a hospital, with law enforcement, at a forensic lab and at the state’s attorney’s office.

Sarah Beuning, general counsel for the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault, said the group supports the transparency that would be part of a tracking system, but wants to ensure funding is not diverted from anything that could speed long processing times.

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