Illinois launches online tracking system for rape kits

Illinois News

FILE – This Feb. 8, 2017, file photo, Utah State Crime Lab Director Jay Henry holds a sexual assault evidence collection kit following a committee meeting at the Utah State Capitol, in Salt Lake City. The backlog of untested rape kits is growing even after state lawmakers passed a law in 2017 to address the issue, in part because the legislature didn’t provide enough money to hire the necessary technicians for the state crime lab, KUTV reports. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File )

Ill. (WEHT) — Sexual assault survivors in Illinois can now monitor the progress of evidence taken in their cases.

The new system, called CheckPoint, works like tracking a package online. The CheckPoint system will allow survivors of sexual assault to monitor the status of their evidence throughout the entire process, from collection at the hospital, through law enforcement pick-up and submission to the forensic lab, and ultimately to the State’s Attorney’s office where final results are received.

Illinois State Police say to ensure privacy, the system will use unique case numbers and passwords to limit access to survivors and law enforcement.

Carrie Ward with the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault said this won’t solve the problem of backlogged rape kits – but will help survivors in the long run.

“It allows you to see in real time where the kit is at. Where that is helpful to survivors is, is if there is a log jam, then what we can find out is, where did it stop and who do we need to follow up with to try to get it moving again,” Ward said.

Currently, any survivor of sexual assault who seeks a forensic medical exam at a health care facility that has implemented the CheckPoint system is able to track the progress of their evidence in the system. Of the health care facilities that offer sexual assault treatment plans, 86%  have submitted user agreements to ISP to utilize the CheckPoint system.

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(This story was originally published on Sept. 28, 2020)

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