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Nebraska’s Untested Rape Kits: A Call for Urgent Inventory and Reform


In the United States, a critical issue affecting the criminal justice system is the backlog of untested rape kits. Recent estimates suggest the existence of approximately 90,000 untested kits nationwide. This backlog not only hampers the pursuit of justice for survivors but also poses significant risks to public safety.

Nebraska’s Situation 
Nebraska faces a unique challenge, as it is one of the few states yet to conduct a complete inventory of its rape kits. This lack of inventory could lead to the loss or destruction of vital evidence. Understanding the reasons behind Nebraska’s delay and its consequences is crucial for addressing this issue.

Comparative Analysis
States like Idaho, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, and Rhode Island have made commendable progress in rape kit reform, establishing robust inventory systems. Their success stories could serve as models for Nebraska, demonstrating effective strategies for inventory and processing of rape kits.
Nebraska's Untested Rape Kits: A Call for Urgent Inventory and Reform
Impact of Untested Kits
The backlog of untested kits significantly impacts survivors of sexual assault, delaying or denying justice. It also affects the criminal justice system’s efficiency and society’s trust in law enforcement. Including survivor perspectives highlights the personal cost of this backlog.

Advocacy and Solutions
Groups like play a pivotal role in advocating for reforms, recommending strategies like comprehensive kit testing, implementing tracking systems, and ensuring victims are informed. These recommendations are crucial for systematic change.

Legislative Response
In Nebraska, any existing or proposed laws related to rape kit processing should be scrutinized. Assessing how these laws align with national best practices and advocacy group recommendations is key to understanding the state’s commitment to reform.

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Call to Action
Concluding with a strong call to action for policymakers, law enforcement, and the public is vital. The urgency for inventory and reform in Nebraska must be emphasized to ensure justice for survivors and the safety of the community.

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