The Illinois State Police (ISP) have finally put in to place a system to bring some peace of mind to sexual assault victims, according to State Representative Margo McDermed (R-Mokena) who championed the issue throughout her tenure in the Illinois House.
The ISP just announced the launch of a statewide sexual assault tracking system. Dubbed, the CheckPoint system, it 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. To ensure privacy, the system will use unique case numbers and passwords to limit access to survivors and law enforcement.
“CheckPoint is the culmination of years of work from a lot of stakeholders including legislators like myself, the Illinois State Police, women’s rights group, and many others that were dedicated to making this happen,” Rep. McDermed said.
Rep. McDermed passed legislation in 2017 to create the Sexual Assault Evidence Tracking and Reporting Commission with the goal of determining how to implement an electronic evidence tracking system. The commission, chaired by Rep. McDermed, made a number of recommended changes to law and policy to help implement such a system, which was then incorporated into legislation sponsored and passed by McDermed in 2019.
“We need to continue to do more to address the rape kit backlog, including giving ISP the tools and manpower, but CheckPoint is a massive step in the right direction that should be celebrated,” Rep. McDermed continued. “What’s important is that victims now have the power of transparency and accountability.”