skip navigation

Justinfo Subscribe to Stay Informed

Add your conference to our Justice Events calendar


NCJRS Abstract


Subscribe to Stay Informed
Want to be in the know? JUSTINFO is a biweekly e-newsletter containing information about new publications, events, training, funding opportunities, and Web-based resources available from the NCJRS Federal sponsors. Sign up to get JUSTINFO in your inbox.

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Library collection.
To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the NCJRS Abstracts Database.

How to Obtain Documents
NCJ Number: NCJ 241356     Find in a Library
Title: Untested Evidence in Sexual Assault Cases
  Document URL: PDF 
Author(s): Nancy Ritter
  Journal: Sexual Assault Report  Volume:16  Issue:3  Dated:January/February 2013  Pages:33, 34, 40-43
Date Published: 2013
Page Count: 6
  Annotation: This article overviews the issue of untested sexual assault kit (SAK) evidence and presents recommendations on how best to handle the current backlog and reduce delays in the future.
Abstract: There are thousands of untested sexual assault kits (SAKs) stored in police evidence rooms, crime labs, hospitals, clinics, and rape crisis centers in the United States. However, making decisions about how best to handle all of this older, unanalyzed evidence is difficult and complicated; and these decisions affect every stakeholder, especially the victim. This article examines the issue of untested SAKs in the hands of law enforcement verse what is considered the “backlog” of SAKs awaiting testing in the nation’s crime labs; and presents policy and practice recommendations designed to improve SAK processes as they relate to which SAKs should be examined, “action research” currently being funded by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), NIJ’s project in Detroit, and actions to take in the post-testing phase. The author stresses that “delays in evidence being sent to a lab as well as delays in analyzing evidence and conducting police investigations result in delays in justice” with the potential of serial victimization or wrongful convictions. The ultimate goal is to adopt research-based practices, procedures, and protocols to move beyond the current “crisis management” approach.
Main Term(s): Evidence collection ; Evidence identification and analysis ; Evidence ; Evidence preservation
Index Term(s): Sexual assault ; Rape evidence kits
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
US Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
United States of America
Sale Source: Civic Research Institute, Inc
4478 US Route 27
P.O. Box 585
Kingston, NJ 08528-9982
United States of America
Type: Issue Overview
Country: United States of America
Language: English
  To cite this abstract, use the following link:

* A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's web site is provided.