FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
APRIL 10, 2013
CONTACT: Kath Cummins
Washington, DC-- The National Center for Victims of Crime applauds the Obama Administration's FY2014 budget for supporting the elimination of the backlog in testing DNA evidence, including sexual assault kits (SAKs).
Right now, an estimated hundreds of thousands of sexual assault kits await analysis by crime laboratories or sit untested in law enforcement custody around the nation.
"As these kits languish on shelves, victims wait for justice, often in fear, while their attackers roam free to strike again,” said National Center Executive Director Mai Fernandez. “These funds are crucial to getting these kits tested and improving the use of DNA in the criminal justice system overall.”
The proposed budget supports the federal DNA Initiative, including the Debbie Smith Act, which provides much-needed funding for state and local forensic laboratories to reduce DNA backlogs and improve the use of DNA in the criminal justice system nationwide.
The President’s budget proposal would build on the pioneering work it has already funded in Houston and Detroit, jurisdictions that have embraced an approach to resolving rape-kit backlogs—with law enforcement, laboratories, victim advocates and victims all collaborating—in a victim-informed and sensitive way.
For more information about forensic DNA and victim-related issues, please visit victimsofcrime.org/dna
The National Center for Victims of Crime, established in 1985, is the nation's leading resource and advocacy organization for crime victims and those who serve them. For more than 25 years, the National Center has led the nation's struggle to provide crime victims with the rights, protections, and services they need to rebuild their lives. Visit www.VictimsofCrime.org for more information.