Fox News reports that testing in Florida’s Palm Beach County of 1,500 backlogged rape kits has led to the arrest of a registered sex offender for a 1992 rape.

This story is shared for a couple reasons. First; for years there was a backlog of untested rape kits. Rather than applying resources into testing these kits and solving crimes, police departments across Florida have been investing resources into creating crimes through “online stings” and “operations” to crack down on petty and often unknowing violations by those on the registry. It’s easier to collect a paycheck by picking off low hanging fruit than actual crime solving.

Then, in 2015, Florida enacted a law requiring the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) to conduct a one-time audit of untested rape kits across the state. In the same year, the FDLE reported at least 13,435 untested rape kits in the possession of 279 law enforcement agencies. FDLE has announced a goal of testing 8,600 of these kits by June 2019. This is the result of the law – crimes being solved.

The second reason for sharing this story (despite a person required to register being implicated in a rape) is because a registered sex offender was proven to be the suspect in one out of one thousand five hundred rapes. That is a negligible percentage. Not even one-tenth of one percent. With all the talk of recidivism and the need for registration laws, again, the likelihood of someone on the registry being implicated in a subsequent sexual offense is very low.

This article clearly shows how Florida law enforcement’s focus and resources are being misspent.

 

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