SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — The Illinois State Police (ISP) Division of Forensic Services (DFS) is launching an online sexual assault kit tracking system called CheckPoint, to help sexual assault survivors stay updated on evidence collection in their cases.
A press release says CheckPoint will allow survivors to monitor the status of evidence submitted for their case 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.”
This system will use unique case numbers and passwords to limit access to survivors and law enforcement to help ensure privacy.
“The CheckPoint system will allow survivors to have real-time information about their evidence while protecting their privacy,” said ISP Director Brendan F. Kelly. “This point-by-point knowledge of the location of their evidence will help to empower survivors and foster public trust in the system.
“ISP DFS personnel remain committed to supporting survivors of sexual assault through transparency and accountability.”
The release say any survivor of sexual assault who seeks forensics medical exams at a health care facility that has implemented CheckPoint can now track the progress of their evidence in this system. Of all medical facilities that offer sexual assault treatment plans, ISP says 86% have agreed to set up CheckPoint.
“The Illinois State Police’s development of the CheckPoint system is a critical step toward the shared goal of prompt data analysis that reduces the amount of time sexual assault victims spend in limbo awaiting results,” says Carrie Ward, Executive Director of the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault. “We believe the continued effort to eliminate the backlog of evidence will lead to more perpetrators being arrested and more victims receiving justice as they recover from sexual assault.”
At the end of fiscal year 2020, ISP completed 6,006 assignments on evidence that was submitted for the offense of sexual assault or sexual abuse. ISP adds submissions are up 9% from fiscal year 2019, their backlog is down by 40% from March 2019, and completed assignements are up by 47% from fiscal year 2019.
This includes offenses such as sexual robbery and homicide.