PNS National Newscast

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the Public News Service (podcast)"
"Hey Google, play the Public News Service podcast"
"Alexa, play Public News Service podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

2020Talks

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Hey Google, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Alexa, play Two-Thousand-Twenty Talks podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - January 27, 2021 


Biden executive orders address pollution and environmental justice; health professionals note a link between climate change and human health.


2021Talks - January 27 , 2021 


The Senate moves forward with Trump's impeachment trial; scholars question the legality of impeachment after an official is out of office.

Federal Budget Includes $41 Million to End Rape Kit Backlog

Downloading Audio

Click to download

We love that you want to share our Audio! And it is helpful for us to know where it is going.
Media outlets that are interested in downloading content should go to www.newsservice.org
Click Here if you do not already have an account and need to sign up.
Please do it now, as the option to download our audio packages is ending soon

A proposal for $41 million in President Obama's budget proposal would help New Mexico and others clear the backlog of untested rape kits. (Wikimedia Commons)
A proposal for $41 million in President Obama's budget proposal would help New Mexico and others clear the backlog of untested rape kits. (Wikimedia Commons)
February 10, 2016

SANTA FE, N.M. - Victims advocacy groups are hailing the inclusion of $41 million in President Barack Obama's proposed budget to help address the backlog of untested sexual assault evidence kits, also called rape kits, across the United States. In New Mexico, a 2015 audit discovered more than 5,400 untested rape kits in police evidence rooms.

Ilse Knecht, director of policy and advocacy for the Joyful Heart Foundation, says the money could go a long way toward eliminating New Mexico's backlog.

"New Mexico, along with other communities that did not apply or did not receive money under the first solicitation for this grant program, they will have that opportunity to apply again," says Knecht.

Funding to expand the state's forensic laboratories has been proposed during the current New Mexico legislative session, but budget writers say a revenue shortfall due to falling oil prices could make that difficult. A House-passed version of the budget is awaiting action by the state Senate.

Knecht says that testing the backlog of rape kits is not only the right thing to do, but can also go a long way toward making communities a safer place to live.

"Each one of these kits represents a survivor, and we believe that when jurisdictions test every rape kit they are going to solve crimes, they are going to bring answers and a path to justice for survivors," she says. "They are going to take dangerous criminals off the streets, and they could potentially exonerate the wrongfully convicted."

Knecht says this is the third straight year such funds have been included in the federal budget, totaling more than $86 million. The Joyful Heart Foundation is a national group that advocates for victims of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse.

Mark Richardson, Public News Service - NM