Thousands of evidence kits collected from rape victims that have sat untested for years in Texas can now be analyzed, thanks to an $11 million budget appropriation earmarked for the Texas Department of Public Safety, reports the Texas Tribune. The line-item financing disbursement was passed as part of the state's biennial budget during the regular 83rd legislative session.
The number of untested kits is unclear. Advocacy groups say that about 16,000 kits are sitting on shelves, according to data submitted by 136 law enforcement agencies across the state. But the DPS estimates that the number is closer to 20,000. Department officials say their information comes from various law enforcement agencies, which may use different formulas to determine how many kits they have, thus leading to a discrepancy.