Springfield, IL… The Illinois State Police recently announced that the Division of Forensic Services will implement an online sexual assault tracking system by the end of the year. State Representative Margo McDermed (R-Mokena) has taken the lead on this issue in years’ past and is pressing for action on her legislation to ease the process in which such a system is created and carried out.
“I applaud the recent announcement by the Illinois State Police and look forward to continuing to work together with them to pass the legislative changes needed to facilitate a smooth implementation,” Rep. McDermed said.
Legislation passed by Rep. McDermed in 2017 created the Sexual Assault Evidence Tracking and Reporting Commission. The group brought together relevant stakeholders in the criminal, judicial, and scientific communities to create and develop guidelines for an evidence tracking system. The commission submitted its final report last summer and this session Rep. McDermed filed House Bill 1440 to ensure compliance with the commission’s recommended changes to law and policy that will help implement such a system.
“Rape kits are languishing in evidence while victims are left in the dark,” Rep. McDermed continued. “We need to tackle the backlog and we need to provide clarity, transparency, and accountability to the victims. This is an important and difficult task. Let’s make sure we do this right.”
HB 1440 is necessary to implement a uniform statewide tracking system and mandate participation and compliance by all stakeholders in this tracking system. The bill has currently been assigned to the Illinois House Judicial-Criminal Committee, but has not received a hearing even as the committee deadline nears.