More than one year after Wisconsin Justice Department received federal investments, reports show state still has 6,000 kit backlog
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin sent a letter to Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel calling on him to act as swiftly as possible to address Wisconsin’s sexual assault kit backlog.
Recent press reports indicate that the Wisconsin Department of Justice has yet to test more than 6,000 sexual assault kits despite receiving more than $4 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Justice and the District Attorney of New York County last September to support sexual assault kit testing, investigative work, research and a public awareness campaign.
“I am very troubled by reports that, more than a year after receiving this infusion of outside resources, the backlog in our state has not been reduced. This is unacceptable and the people of Wisconsin deserve better,” said Senator Baldwin. “I want to know that this funding is being met with a strong commitment from Attorney General Schimel to get the job done on the backlog.”
Last year, Senator Baldwin called on the U.S Department of Justice to take “immediate steps” after a USA Today investigation revealed more than 6,000 sexual assault kits remained untested in Wisconsin. In September 2015, the Wisconsin Department of Justice received more than $4 million in investments from the U.S. Department of Justice and the District Attorney of New York County. In addition, Senator Baldwin has also made more federal funding available as a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee to enhance sexual assault kit testing.
Last week, the U.S. Department of Justice awarded Wisconsin an additional $1.1 million to support processing sexual assault kits and reduce the state backlog.
An online version of the letter is available here.