Attorney General Ashley Moody today announced Florida is nearing its goal of eliminating the state’s backlog of previously untested sexual assault kits. The latest Sexual Assault Kit Progress Report released Monday by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement shows that 7,137 backlogged kits have completed the testing process as of the end of 2018.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “This is very encouraging news as the state continues to make tremendous progress toward this important goal. I want to thank the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for their hard work and great progress to eliminate the backlog of previously unprocessed sexual assault kits. I also want to thank former Attorney General Pam Bondi for leading this important public safety issue.”
According to the latest progress report, the tests produced 1,485 hits in the Combined DNA Index System. CODIS is a forensic science and computer technology tool used by law enforcement to help link crimes. State and private labs are testing the kits as part of an ongoing effort to eliminate Florida’s backlog of previously untested kits.
The state legislature approved initial funding to eliminate the backlog during Florida’s 2016 Legislative Session. During the session, the Attorney General’s Office worked with law enforcement, prosecutors, survivors and state lawmakers to secure $2.3 million for testing and additional funding to raise the wages of lab analysts to reduce turnover, purchase new forensic testing equipment and upgrade existing lab equipment.
The Florida Attorney General’s Office also supported legislation to help expedite the testing of sexual assault kits. Now, Florida law requires all newly collected kits to be submitted by law enforcement to the crime laboratory within 30 days and processed by the laboratory within 120 days of receipt. According to the latest report, FDLE has a 99.9 percent compliance rate with an average turnaround time of 84 days for newly received kits.
To view the latest report, click here.