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Houston Sexual Assault Survivors Can Now Track Their Evidence Kits Using Track-Kit from STACS DNA

July 08, 2019

Houston is one of several Texas cities participating in the pilot phase of the Track-Kit software. It gives access to an online portal with updated information.

Houston is one of several Texas cities participating in the pilot phase of an online tool that allows survivors of sexual assault to track their sexual assault evidence kits. Experts are confident the new technology will help investigators maintain an up-to-date statewide inventory of sexual assault kits once the current backlog is cleared.

The software that is being tested in Houston is manufactured by STACS DNA. Its use is the result of a law the Texas Legislature passed in 2017 mandating a statewide sexual assault kit tracking system.

The software is called Track-Kit and it has been in use in Houston since June. During the pilot phase, Harris Health System and the Memorial Hermann hospital system are using the software, which entails labeling the kits with bar codes that are entered in a database used to track them.

Survivors can access their kits through an online portal upon receiving credentials at the hospital where their exam is conducted. Hospital staff, law enforcement agencies, laboratory staff and prosecutors do the updating in the system and survivors can see which stages their kit has completed.

The software is also being tested in Amarillo, Arlington, El Paso and Lubbock. The statewide rollout is scheduled for September 1.

> Read the full article in Houston Public Media here.