Photo via End The Backlog website
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement released a report
Monday that identifies 13,435 untested rape kits from law enforcement agencies across the state.
The $300,000 study also found that out of the 13,435 untested kits, 9,484 of those kits should have been submitted. The FDLE also estimated clearing that backlog could cost from $9 million to $32 million, with a timeframe of three to nine years.
When agencies were asked why they hadn't submitted the kits, they gave several reasons. In 41 percent of the cases, kits remained untested because victims decided not to proceed with the investigation, and in 31 percent of cases, the kits were not tested because the State Attorney's Office declined to prosecute. Law enforcement officials say in 20 percent of the cases, the suspect had already pled guilty, and 18 percent were kits collected from non-reporting victims, which are people who decline to file a police report after submitting to a kit.
"The most cost efficient and timely way to manage this backlog is through outsourcing a portion of (sexual assault kits), obtaining additional robotics through federal funding, and utilizing overtime funds to allow scientists to conduct technical review of these cases and upload them to the FBI's National Combined DNA Indexing System," the report says.