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FDLE Report: Outsourcing, Overtime, Funding Key To Reducing Rape Kit Backlog


More than 9,000 untested sexual-assault kits need to be processed by Florida crime labs. That’s according to an assessment released Monday by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

The report also makes several recommendations for getting the backlog unjammed.

  • Outsourcing the testing of older rape kits while state crime labs continue processing new ones
  • Paying crime analysts to work overtime
  • Increasing analysts’ pay to reduce turnover
  • Renovating labs—including the one in Jacksonville—to expand their capacity

Also recommended in the report: clear state standards for testing rape kits. That’s something Rep. Janet Adkins (R-Fernandina Beach) is pushing this session.
“It is important to create statewide standards for the testing of these kits. By doing so, we will ensure justice for victims of this violent crime and perhaps, prevent future crimes from occurring,” she says.

Adkins says, when the city of Detroit analyzed 2,000 untested kits, it led detectives to 188 serial rapists.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has pledged $8.5 million to help process the untested kits.  FDLE estimates it could cost up to $32 million and several years to finish the job.

Jessica Palombo supervises local news gathering and production, podcasts and web editorial content for WJCT News, ADAPT and Jacksonville Today. She is an award-winning writer and journalist with bylines including NPR, Experience Magazine, and The Gainesville Sun. She has a master’s degree in broadcast and digital journalism from Syracuse University and is an alumna of the University of Florida. A nearly lifelong resident of Jacksonville, she considers herself lucky to be raising her own children in her hometown. Follow Jessica Palombo on Twitter: @JaxJessicaP