Representative seeks faster DNA testing

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Concerned about the Illinois State Police’s sexual assault case backlog, State representative Stephanie Kifowit, D-Aurora, is calling for a review of the State Police’s procedures in order to both quicken the pace of DNA testing and deliver justice for every survivor of a violent crime.

“Sexual assault survivors undergo mental and emotional trauma when reporting their stories,” Kifowit said. “Yet our state’s current backlog of rape kits limits the ability of law enforcement to track down and arrest criminals.”

The Illinois State Police reported the average time to process DNA evidence for all criminal cases, including sexual assaults, is 285 days. The Kifowit-backed House Joint Resolution 140 addresses the rape kit backlog by requiring the Auditor General to conduct an audit of the Illinois State Police. Additionally, the resolution grants law enforcement the support tools necessary to access data from the nationwide Combined DNA Index System (CODIS).

“Sexual assault is a serious crime that requires law enforcement’s time and resources,” Kifowit said. “This backlog is unacceptable, and suggests that procedures need to be adjusted. I’m hopeful that this audit will provide insights on how to resolve this issue.”
— State representative Stephanie Kifowit

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