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NCJRS Celebrates National Library Week April 12-18

National Library Week

Started in 1958, National Library Week is a nationwide observance celebrated by all types of libraries - including the NCJRS Virtual Library. NCJRS invites you to explore the breadth and scope of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection and services. With more than 220,000 collection documents and 60,000 online resources, including all known Office of Justice Programs works, it is one of the world’s largest criminal justice special collections.

We encourage your Feedback. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Virtual Library and Abstracts Database, how you access the collection, and any ways we can improve our services.

NCJRS Abstract

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:

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