CHICAGO HEIGHTS, Ill. – In response to an evidence processing backlog at the Illinois State Police’s (ISP) Division of Forensic Services, state Rep. Anthony DeLuca, D-Chicago Heights, is backing a performance audit that will review current lab procedures and provide recommendations to improve the lab’s effectiveness.
“With DNA testing for rape kits and other cases sometimes taking more than a year to be processed, our state’s crime lab appears to be understaffed and inefficient,” DeLuca said. “When we are unable to process evidence in a timely manner, we are failing to give prosecutors the tools they need to take criminals off the street as quick as possible. Right now we’re failing survivors, and that needs to change.”
DeLuca is supporting House Joint Resolution 140, which calls for a performance audit of ISP’s Division of Forensic Services equipment, procedures and staffing levels. The goal of the DeLuca-backed joint resolution is to identify inefficiencies and other problems in the Forensics Division and provide insight as to how to improve turnaround time on DNA testing on evidence from violent crimes. Presently, the lab takes months, sometimes over a year, to complete evidence testing.
“The longer that law enforcement has to wait for evidence, the longer that survivors of violence have to wait for justice or closure,” DeLuca said. “I am hopeful that this audit will give us direction on how to effectively solve this backlog problem, and will ensure we never face this situation again.”