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AG's Office To Launch Tracking System For Rape Kits

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Joyce Russell
/
IPR file
The Iowa attorney general's office says it will partner with a software company to create a rape kit tracking program.

The state attorney general's office has announced it will launch a tracking and reporting system for rape kits. 

The state office will work with software company STACS DNA to develop a system so victims can get status updates as their kits go through medical and law enforcement agencies.

The program was created, in part, to prevent future backlogs of rape kits, said Department Communications Director Lynn Hicks.

"We think this is a big step in increasing accountability and transparency throughout the process of testing these kits and ultimately will empower survivors of sexual assault," Hicks said.

Law enforcement agencies in Iowa and across the country have faced criticism after authorities have discovered thousands of untested rape kits.

Iowa has shipped 1,600 backlogged cases to labs to be tested and has started entering in the results to FBI databases to create DNA profiles, Hicks said.

This new program will allow victims to know exactly what is happening with their kit and "have the assurance that it's not sitting in a police station and being forgotten about," he said.

The project is expected to launch in July 2020 and will cost $800,000 and will be funded by a federal grant.

Hicks said it's still unknown if the system will be applied to kits retroactively when it is launched.