Illinois (in 2009) and Texas (in 2011) enacted state laws mandating the testing of sexual assault kits (SAKs). Both laws required audits of the untested sexual assault kits that had languished for years in evidence storage rooms as well as timely testing of all sexual assault kits moving forward. This webinar will describe how the Illinois and Texas laws came about, key aspects of both states’ laws, results of the statewide audits and impact of the laws on the criminal justice system and victims of sexual assault. Speakers will discuss barriers to passage of these laws, challenges to implementation, and wish lists for improvement.
Cara Smith is a 1992 graduate of Loyola School of Law and was appointed by Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart as Executive Director of the Cook County Department of Corrections on January 1, 2014. Prior to joining the Sheriff’s staff in 2012, Cara served as Deputy Chief of Staff and Director of Policy for Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan from 2003 through 2011 and also served as Chief of Staff to the Illinois Department of Corrections.
Torie Camp is an independent consultant with more than 15 years of experience in the nonprofit and policy arenas. Specializing in anti-sexual assault initiatives, Torie has worked with a variety of grassroots, community nonprofit, criminal justice-based, and statewide organizations to improve services for sexual assault survivors. Formerly with the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault (TAASA), she was at the helm of the agency’s public policy initiatives during the passage of SB 1636, Texas’ mandatory sexual assault kit testing law. Torie has been an adjunct professor at the University of Texas at Austin, is a licensed Texas law enforcement instructor and is a gubernatorial appointee to the Texas Crime Victims’ Institute Advisory Board.