MN has Thousands of Untested Rape Kits and Isn’t Doing Anything
According to a 2015 survey, the state of Minnesota has 3,482 untested rape kits and no plans to test them.
EndTheBackLog.org is a program of national non-profit organization Joyful Heart Foundation dedicated to one purpose -- "to eliminate the existing backlog of untested rape kits across the United States and prevent a backlog from ever happening again." Since 2010, End the Backlog has been shedding the light on the backlog of untested rape kits in the US to transform "society’s response to sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse, support survivors’ healing, and end this violence forever." These are kits that could end decades-long cases, provide justice to victims and detect perpetrators.
According to End the Backlog, in 2015 the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) announced that there were 3,482 untested rape kits in the possession of 171 police agencies. Minnesota law does not require law enforcement agencies to track or test kits. Earlier this year, KARE 11 discovered that Minnesota possessed additional rape kits -- as many as 2,700 -- that were never fully tested "leaving crucial DNA information out of a nationwide database meant to catch serial predators."
“We plan to test these at some point," Catherine Knutson, the BCA’s deputy supervisor of forensic science services is quoted as saying. "But we’re not certain when we’ll have the resources to do those."
This is the very inaction End the Backlog wants to see ended, encouraging Minnesotans to contact their state officials and call for rape kit law reforms.
"Over time, leadership can change, and practices may slip away from what is written in policy. To ensure that a backlog never develops again, laws must change in every state to codify these best practices."
You can take action and contact your state officials here.