skip navigation

Add your conference to our Justice Events calendar


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

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the NCJRS Abstracts Database. 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: NCJ 233279  Add to Shoppping Cart  
  Title: The Road Ahead: Unanalyzed Evidence in Sexual Assault Cases
  Document URL: PDF 
  Author(s): Nancy Ritter
  Corporate Author: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
US Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
United States of America
  Date Published: 05/2011
  Page Count: 21
  Annotation: After documenting that untested sexual assault evidence is being stored in evidence rooms across the country, the report discusses a variety of ramifications for the police and crime laboratories, the courts, and the victims in these cases.
  Abstract: Given the presence in evidence rooms of a significant number of untested sexual assault kits (SAKs) that have not been sent to laboratories, this report poses a number of questions: should officials allocate the resources to test all SAKs in evidence rooms or should they establish a prioritization process for determining which SAKs should be sent to the lab, and when? This report suggests reasons why the answers to these questions are not as straightforward as they may seem. Jurisdictions are using various approaches to address the untested SAK problem; however, developing scientific evidence needed to determine which approaches are the most effective, i.e., solving the most crimes with the greatest efficiency, will take time. The report also examines some of the issues underlying “stranger” and “acquaintance” rape; implications for police investigation and case prosecution, particularly regarding statutes of limitations; and the sensitive issue of victim notification in older cases. In addressing the issue of untested SAKs in evidence rooms across the country, this report advises that it is crucial for responses to balance justice, public safety, and the victims’ needs. The goal should be to adopt systematic practices, procedures, and protocols that will prevent the current situation from recurring to become a chronic issue.
  Main Term(s): Criminology
  Index Term(s): Evidence collection ; Police management ; Rape investigations ; Police policies and procedures ; Sex offense investigations ; Rape evidence kits
  Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/NCJRS
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
  Type: Issue Overview
  Country: United States of America
  Language: English
  Note: NIJ Special Report
  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.