skip navigation


Abstract Database

Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

To download this abstract, check the box next to the NCJ number then click the "Back To Search Results" link. Then, click the "Download" button on the Search Results page. Also see the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 250059 Find in a Library
Title: Tested at Last: How DNA Evidence in Untested Rape Kits Can Identify Offenders and Serial Sexual Assaults
Journal: Journal of Interpersonal Violence  Volume:Online  Dated:March 2016
Author(s): R. Campbell; H. Feeney
Date Published: March 2016
Page Count: 0
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 2011-DN-BX-0001
Document: PDF
Dataset: DATASET 1
Type: Program/Project Description; Report (Grant Sponsored); Report (Study/Research); Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article; Document (Online)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: In order to inform policy and practice regarding sexual assault kit (SAK) testing, the current study tested a sample of 900 previously unsubmitted SAKs from Detroit, Michigan, and documented the DNA forensic testing outcomes associated with those kits.
Abstract: An increasing number of U.S. law enforcement agencies have disclosed that they have large numbers of untested SAKs (also called “rape kits”) in police property storage. Whether previously untested SAKs should be tested for DNA evidence has been the subject of considerable public debate. The current study assessed how many previously untested SAKs in the Detroit Police Department’s SAK backlog yielded DNA profiles eligible for upload into CODIS (Combined DNA Index System), the Federal DNA criminal database; how many resulted in a DNA match (termed a “CODIS hit”); and how many of those hits were associated with other sexual assault crimes (i.e., serial sexual assault hits). Overall, there were 259 CODIS hits, 69 of which had DNA matches to another sexual assault case. The potential utility of a DNA profile and CODIS hit may vary depending on whether the offender was known or unknown to the victim, so the study examined these outcomes separately for SAKs associated with stranger- and non-stranger-perpetrated sexual assaults. Also presented are six case studies as examples of how DNA testing and CODIS hits helped identify serial sexual assaults in both stranger and non-stranger sexual assault cases. Implications for rape kit testing policies are discussed. 39 references (Publisher abstract modified)
Main Term(s): Forensic sciences
Index Term(s): DNA Typing; Evidence identification; Investigative techniques; Michigan; NIJ grant-related documents; NIJ Resources; Rape evidence kits; Rape investigations; Sex offense investigations; Suspect identification
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 website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.