State Announces Funding, Improvements To Help Resolve Rape Kit Backlog

State Announces Funding, Improvements To Help Resolve Rape Kit Backlog

4:11pm Oct 04, 2018
A 2017 file photo showing a sexual assault evidence collection kit at Rape Crisis Volunteers of Cumberland County in Fayetteville, N.C. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)

North Carolina’s massive backlog of untested sexual assault kits will start to be reduced, according to Attorney General Josh Stein.

The news comes after months after Stein’s office performed an inventory to find out how many of those kits existed statewide. The answer: more than 15,000.

Since then, Stein has been petitioning the legislature and others for money to help get the backlog resolved.

As of this week, North Carolina sexual assault kits will have a barcode, so that law enforcement officials and victims can keep tabs on whether or not the kit has been tested. The state of Idaho shared the particulars of its own system, free of charge, to help get the North Carolina program off the ground

Stein also announced that the state has received a $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, about half of which will go directly toward getting kits tested. The other half will go toward hiring additional staff to help continue improving the system.

According to Stein, the money will cover about 1,400 tests, less than 10 percent of the backlog.

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