ISP Forensics Lab

Evidence envelopes sit on shelves in a secure storage room at the Idaho State Police forensics lab in Meridian.

The Idaho State Police expects to complete DNA testing of backlogged rape kits from across the state sometime next year, the agency announced Thursday. The announcement comes alongside the American Society of Crime Lab Directors’ release of a national survey showing the number of sexual assault kits across the country that still need testing in a laboratory, writes Idaho Press reporter Tommy Simmons.

Over the last three years, following an Idaho Press investigation, the Idaho Legislature passed a series of bills mandating the testing and tracking of sexual assault kits, which are a collection of evidence gathered after a sexual assault. Previously, large numbers of the kits went unprocessed, hindering prosecution of the crimes.

You can read Simmons' full story here at idahopress.com (subscription required), or pick up today's Idaho Press; it's on the front page.

Betsy Z. Russell is the Boise bureau chief and state capitol reporter for the Idaho Press and Adams Publishing Group. Follow her on Twitter at @BetsyZRussell.

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