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Cost is a significant hurdle to ending the rape kit backlog

Cost is a significant hurdle to ending the rape kit backlog

For the last year, we’ve been requesting data surrounding the national backlog of untested sexual assault evidence. While we still don’t know the actual number- so far more than 225,000 rape kits have been found sitting on evidence collection shelves and in hospitals from coast to coast - we have a greater understanding of the many hurdles victims and law enforcement face. There are many reasons rape kits go untested, and the lack of forensic funding continues to exacerbate the problem.

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Cooking with FOIA: George Bush's declassified grilling tips

Cooking with FOIA: George Bush’s declassified grilling tips

From fudge to top-secret cupcakes, the Central Intelligence Agency’s CREST database contains an abundance of once-classified recipes with often tenuous ties to the agency itself. An article from the May, 1976 issue of Texas Monthly is one such example, featuring then-CIA director George H.W. Bush’s guide to making the perfect hamburger.

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Biometric firm enters into trial agreement with Southwestern Border Sheriffs Coalition

Biometric firm enters into trial agreement with Southwestern Border Sheriffs Coalition

This spring, private biometric intelligence company BI2 Technologies entered into an agreement with a law enforcement faction known as the Southwestern Border Sheriff’s Coalition. The partnership promised that BI2 would donate and integrate biometric identification devices and systems into sheriff departments along the U.S. and Mexico border.

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FOIA shows transparency growing pains and a failure to communicate

FOIA shows transparency growing pains and a failure to communicate

Progress rarely comes in a straight line, particularly when it comes to public records and transparency. This week, some stories about the ups and downs after reforms happen, including challenges at the state, local, and federal level.

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How to double check official claims with public records

How to double check official claims with public records

Shockingly, public officials’ words do not always match up with their actions. Fortunately, public records can help the truth come out. In this week’s roundup, some ways you can double check what officials are up to with private data and public dollars, plus a way to recognize a public records hero for their transparency work.

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