SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Lindsey LaPointe, D-Chicago, is highlighting a significant new Illinois law that will empower survivors, law enforcement and health care facilities and improve the system to track evidence from sexual assaults.
“Law enforcement needs all available resources to hold perpetrators of crime accountable, a key factor in healing for crime survivors” said LaPointe. “This new law will improve the system for processing rape kits, and Illinois will have better information going forward to continue helping survivors.”
LaPointe is applauding the passage of Senate Bill 1411, which increases transparency to sexual assault victims on the status of processing rape kit evidence. The law creates a real-time electronic tracking system and a 24-hour help desk. This recommendation came from the Sexual Assault Evidence Tracking and Reporting Commission, which was designed to bridge existing gaps that plagued sexual assault tracking systems. The Illinois State Police keeps assault kits for a decade, but lacked a method to keep track of the input that could be provided by hospital staff, survivors, law enforcement, and prosecutors, which inflated wait times and increased mistakes in processing rape kits.
“This effort was passed with bipartisan support, and this is a step in the right direction for accountability and transparency in a process that has been sorely lacking for too long,” LaPointe said. “More must be done to address the backlog of rape kits and making processing more seamless to help law enforcement bring perpetrators to justice, and I look forward to contributing to that work with my colleagues.”
LaPointe represents the 19th District, which covers portions of Chicago’s Big Oaks, Dunning, Gladstone Park, Jefferson Park, Portage Park, Union Ridge and West Portage Park neighborhoods, and River Grove, Elmwood Park, Norridge and Harwood Heights.