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Sen. Baldwin speaks out about rape kit backlog

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Posted at 10:23 AM, Oct 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-06 11:23:50-04

In a letter to Attorney General Brad Schimel released on Wednesday, U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin called on him to address Wisconsin's sexual assault kit backlog. 

Last September, the Wisconsin Department of Justice received over $4 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Justice and the District Attorney of New York County to support sexual assault kit testing, investigative work, research and a public awareness campaign.

Despite this, it is estimated that more than 6,000 kits are still sitting on shelves in Wisconsin without having ever been sent to crime labs for testing. 

Senator Baldwin said she was "troubled" by this news. 

"This is unacceptable and the people of Wisconsin deserve better,” Baldwin said.

In addition, Senator Baldwin has made more federal funding available as a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee to enhance sexual assault kit testing.

She is urging Attorney General Schimel to meet this funding with a strong commitment to eliminate the backlog.

Last week, the U.S. Department of Justice awarded Wisconsin an additional $1.1 million to support processing sexual assault kits.