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Rape kit tracking funding concurring votes away from passage

Flickr User Women's eNews

Michigan is on its way to tracking sexual assault kits.

Almost ten years ago, the Wayne County Prosecutor’s office discovered thousands of untested rape kits. This set off a chain of events that has led to batches of kits being tested and dozens of rapists convicted of their crimes.

Advocates say tracking the software will prevent future backlogs and prevent kits from being lost.

Senator Margaret O’Brien voted in favor of the legislation.

“This particular allocation is so important in making sure that we can protect our communities, and protecting those who are most vulnerable.”

“This is a very timely discussion in relation to what’s going on in our country when we talk about rapes and sexual assaults. In ensuring that these rape kits are properly tracked and ensuring that funds are disbursed as needed is very important.”

Lore Rogers is with the Michigan Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention and Treatment Board. She says the tracking software includes alerts to notify people if a kit has been in one place too long.

“As those alerts go out it’s telling someone within that department, you’ve got a kit that’s nearing the deadline and it’s not where it’s supposed to be and they can fix that before it even becomes a problem.”

Rogers says the alerts could have prevented backlogs in many counties – which stalled potential prosecutions.