The Houston police backlog of untested rape kits totals between 6,000 and 7,000 – 50 percent more than what officials previously acknowledged, according to a memo from Chief Charles McClelland reported by the Houston Chronicle. The department for years has insisted that the backlog of untested rape kits was around 4,000. The backlog is likely to continue growing.
Police receive 930 new rape kits each year and is able to test only 30 to 40 a month. Johnny Mata of the Greater Houston Coalition for Justice said, “There’s people in jail that may be innocent. There’s women that may be fearing for their lives. It’s unacceptable.” The city council voted to accept a National Institute of Justice grant of $821,814 to deal with the untested kits. Most of the money will go toward determining the reasons rape kits go untested and how to cut the backlog more quickly.