Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of SB0920
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Full Text of SB0920  102nd General Assembly


Sen. Patricia Van Pelt

Filed: 4/16/2021





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2    AMENDMENT NO. ______. Amend Senate Bill 920 by replacing
3everything after the enacting clause with the following:
4    "Section 5. The Department of State Police Law of the
5Civil Administrative Code of Illinois is amended by adding
6Section 2605-615 as follows:
7    (20 ILCS 2605/2605-615 new)
8    Sec. 2605-615. Illinois Forensic Science Commission.
9    (a) Creation. There is created within the Illinois State
10Police the Illinois Forensic Science Commission.
11    (b) Duties and purpose. The Commission shall:
12        (1) Provide guidance to ensure the efficient delivery
13    of forensic services and the sound practice of forensic
14    science.
15        (2) Provide a forum for discussions between forensic
16    science stakeholders to improve communication and



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1    coordination and to monitor the important issues impacting
2    all stakeholders.
3        (3) Take a systems-based approach in reviewing all
4    aspects of the delivery of forensic services and the sound
5    practice of forensic science with the goal of reducing or
6    eliminating the factors and inefficiencies that contribute
7    to backlogs and errors, with a focus on education and
8    training, funding, hiring, procurement, and other aspects
9    identified by the Commission.
10        (4) Review significant non-conformities with the sound
11    practice of forensic science documented by each
12    publicly-funded forensic laboratory and offer
13    recommendations for the correction thereof.
14        (5) Subject to appropriation, provide educational,
15    research, and professional training opportunities for
16    practicing forensic scientists, police officers, judges,
17    State's Attorneys and Assistant State's Attorneys, Public
18    Defenders, and defense attorneys comporting with the sound
19    practice of forensic science.
20        (6) Collect and analyze information related to the
21    impact of current laws, rules, policies, and practices on
22    forensic crime laboratories and the practice of forensic
23    science; evaluate the impact of those laws, rules,
24    policies, and practices on forensic crime laboratories and
25    the practice of forensic science; identify new policies
26    and approaches, together with changes in science, and



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1    technology; and make recommendations for changes to those
2    laws, rules, policies, and practices that will yield
3    better results in the criminal justice system consistent
4    with the sound practice of forensic science.
5        (7) Perform such other studies or tasks pertaining to
6    forensic crime laboratories as may be requested by the
7    General Assembly by resolution or the Governor, and
8    perform such other functions as may be required by law or
9    as are necessary to carry out the purposes and goals of the
10    Commission prescribed in this Section.
11        (8) Ensure that adequate resources and facilities are
12    available for carrying out the changes proposed in
13    legislation, rules, or policies and that rational
14    priorities are established for the use of those resources.
15    To do so, the Commission may prepare statements to the
16    Governor and General Assembly identifying the fiscal and
17    practical effects of proposed legislation, rules, or
18    policy changes, Such statements may include, but are not
19    limited to: the impact on present levels of staffing and
20    resources; a professional opinion on the practical value
21    of the change or changes; the increase or decrease the
22    number of crime laboratories; the increase or decrease the
23    cost of operating crime laboratories; the impact on
24    efficiencies and caseloads; other information, including
25    but not limited to, facts, data, research, and science
26    relevant to the legislation, rule, or policy; the direct



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1    or indirect alteration in any process involving or used by
2    crime laboratories of such proposed legislation, rules, or
3    policy changes; an analysis of the impact, either directly
4    or indirectly, on the technology, improvements, or
5    practices of forensic analyses for use in criminal
6    proceedings; together with the direct or indirect impact
7    on headcount, space, equipment, instruments,
8    accreditation, the volume of cases for analysis,
9    scientific controls, and quality assurance.
10    (c) Members. The Commission shall be composed of the
11Director of the Illinois State Police, or his or her designee,
12together with the following members appointed for a term of 4
13years by the Governor with the advice and consent of the
15        (1) One crime laboratory director or administrator
16    from each publicly-funded forensic laboratory system.
17        (2) One member with experience in the admission of
18    forensic evidence in trials from a statewide association
19    representing prosecutors.
20        (3) One member with experience in the admission of
21    forensic evidence in trials from a statewide association
22    representing criminal defense attorneys.
23        (4) Three forensic scientists with bench work
24    background from various forensic disciplines (e.g., DNA,
25    chemistry, pattern evidence, etc.).
26        (5) One retired circuit court judge or associate



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1    circuit court judge with criminal trial experience,
2    including experience in the admission of forensic evidence
3    in trials.
4        (6) One academic specializing in the field of forensic
5    sciences.
6        (7) One or more community representatives (e.g.,
7    victim advocates, innocence project organizations, sexual
8    assault examiners, etc.).
9    The Governor shall designate one of the members of the
10Commission to serve as the chair of the Commission. The
11members of the Commission shall elect from their number such
12other officers as they may determine. Members of the
13Commission shall serve without compensation, but may be
14reimbursed for reasonable expenses incurred in the performance
15of their duties from funds appropriated for that purpose.
16    (d) Subcommittees. The Commission may form subcommittees
17to study specific issues identified under paragraph (3) of
18subsection (b), including, but not limited to, subcommittees
19on education and training, procurement, funding and hiring. Ad
20hoc subcommittees may also be convened to address other
21issues. Such subcommittees shall meet as needed to complete
22their work, and shall report their findings back to the
23Commission. Subcommittees shall include members of the
24Commission, and may also include non-members such as forensic
25science stakeholders and subject matter experts.
26    (e) Meetings. The Commission shall meet quarterly, at the



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1call of the chairperson. Facilities for meeting, whether
2remotely or in person, shall be provided for the Commission by
3the Illinois State Police.
4    (f) Reporting by publicly-funded forensic laboratories.
5All State and local publicly-funded forensic laboratory
6systems, including, but not limited to, the DuPage County
7Forensic Science Center, the Northeastern Illinois Regional
8Crime Laboratory, and the Illinois State Police, shall
9annually provide to the Commission a report summarizing its
10significant non-conformities with the efficient delivery of
11forensic services and the sound practice of forensic science.
12The report will identify: each significant non-conformity or
13deficient method; how the non-conformity or deficient method
14was detected; the nature and extent of the non-conformity or
15deficient method; all corrective actions implemented to
16address the non-conformity or deficient method; and an
17analysis of the effectiveness of the corrective actions taken.
18    (g) Definition. As used in this Section, "Commission"
19means the Illinois Forensic Science Commission.
20    Section 10. The Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963 is
21amended by adding Sections 111-9 and 116-6 as follows:
22    (725 ILCS 5/111-9 new)
23    Sec. 111-9. Notification to forensic laboratories. Unless
24the Supreme Court shall by Rule provide otherwise, upon



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1disposition, withdrawal, or dismissal of any charge, the
2State's Attorney shall promptly notify the forensic laboratory
3or laboratories in possession of evidence, reports, or other
4materials or information related to that charge. Notification
5may be given by any reasonable means under the circumstances,
6including, but not limited to, the Illinois State Police
7Laboratory Information Management System, email, or telephone.
8    Section 15. The Sexual Assault Evidence Submission Act is
9amended by changing Section 50 as follows:
10    (725 ILCS 202/50)
11    Sec. 50. Sexual assault evidence tracking system.
12    (a) On June 26, 2018, the Sexual Assault Evidence Tracking
13and Reporting Commission issued its report as required under
14Section 43. It is the intention of the General Assembly in
15enacting the provisions of this amendatory Act of the 101st
16General Assembly to implement the recommendations of the
17Sexual Assault Evidence Tracking and Reporting Commission set
18forth in that report in a manner that utilizes the current
19resources of law enforcement agencies whenever possible and
20that is adaptable to changing technologies and circumstances.
21    (a-1) Due to the complex nature of a statewide tracking
22system for sexual assault evidence and to ensure all
23stakeholders, including, but not limited to, victims and their
24designees, health care facilities, law enforcement agencies,



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1forensic labs, and State's Attorneys offices are integrated,
2the Commission recommended the purchase of an electronic
3off-the-shelf tracking system. The system must be able to
4communicate with all stakeholders and provide real-time
5information to a victim or his or her designee on the status of
6the evidence that was collected. The sexual assault evidence
7tracking system must:
8        (1) be electronic and web-based;
9        (2) be administered by the Department of State Police;
10        (3) have help desk availability at all times;
11        (4) ensure the law enforcement agency contact
12    information is accessible to the victim or his or her
13    designee through the tracking system, so there is contact
14    information for questions;
15        (5) have the option for external connectivity to
16    evidence management systems, laboratory information
17    management systems, or other electronic data systems
18    already in existence by any of the stakeholders to
19    minimize additional burdens or tasks on stakeholders;
20        (6) allow for the victim to opt in for automatic
21    notifications when status updates are entered in the
22    system, if the system allows;
23        (7) include at each step in the process, a brief
24    explanation of the general purpose of that step and a
25    general indication of how long the step may take to
26    complete;



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1        (8) contain minimum fields for tracking and reporting,
2    as follows:
3            (A) for sexual assault evidence kit vendor fields:
4                (i) each sexual evidence kit identification
5            number provided to each health care facility; and
6                (ii) the date the sexual evidence kit was sent
7            to the health care facility.
8            (B) for health care facility fields:
9                (i) the date sexual assault evidence was
10            collected; and
11                (ii) the date notification was made to the law
12            enforcement agency that the sexual assault
13            evidence was collected.
14            (C) for law enforcement agency fields:
15                (i) the date the law enforcement agency took
16            possession of the sexual assault evidence from the
17            health care facility, another law enforcement
18            agency, or victim if he or she did not go through a
19            health care facility;
20                (ii) the law enforcement agency complaint
21            number;
22                (iii) if the law enforcement agency that takes
23            possession of the sexual assault evidence from a
24            health care facility is not the law enforcement
25            agency with jurisdiction in which the offense
26            occurred, the date when the law enforcement agency



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1            notified the law enforcement agency having
2            jurisdiction that the agency has sexual assault
3            evidence required under subsection (c) of Section
4            20 of the Sexual Assault Incident Procedure Act;
5                (iv) an indication if the victim consented for
6            analysis of the sexual assault evidence;
7                (v) if the victim did not consent for analysis
8            of the sexual assault evidence, the date on which
9            the law enforcement agency is no longer required
10            to store the sexual assault evidence;
11                (vi) a mechanism for the law enforcement
12            agency to document why the sexual assault evidence
13            was not submitted to the laboratory for analysis,
14            if applicable;
15                (vii) the date the law enforcement agency
16            received the sexual assault evidence results back
17            from the laboratory;
18                (viii) the date statutory notifications were
19            made to the victim or documentation of why
20            notification was not made; and
21                (ix) the date the law enforcement agency
22            turned over the case information to the State's
23            Attorney office, if applicable.
24            (D) for forensic lab fields:
25                (i) the date the sexual assault evidence is
26            received from the law enforcement agency by the



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1            forensic lab for analysis;
2                (ii) the laboratory case number, visible to
3            the law enforcement agency and State's Attorney
4            office; and
5                (iii) the date the laboratory completes the
6            analysis of the sexual assault evidence.
7            (E) for State's Attorney office fields:
8                (i) the date the State's Attorney office
9            received the sexual assault evidence results from
10            the laboratory, if applicable; and
11                (ii) the disposition or status of the case.
12    (a-2) The Commission also developed guidelines for secure
13electronic access to a tracking system for a victim, or his or
14her designee to access information on the status of the
15evidence collected. The Commission recommended minimum
16guidelines in order to safeguard confidentiality of the
17information contained within this statewide tracking system.
18These recommendations are that the sexual assault evidence
19tracking system must:
20        (1) allow for secure access, controlled by an
21    administering body who can restrict user access and allow
22    different permissions based on the need of that particular
23    user and health care facility users may include
24    out-of-state border hospitals, if authorized by the
25    Department of State Police to obtain this State's kits
26    from vendor;



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1        (2) provide for users, other than victims, the ability
2    to provide for any individual who is granted access to the
3    program their own unique user ID and password;
4        (3) provide for a mechanism for a victim to enter the
5    system and only access his or her own information;
6        (4) enable a sexual assault evidence to be tracked and
7    identified through the unique sexual assault evidence kit
8    identification number or barcode that the vendor applies
9    to each sexual assault evidence kit per the Department of
10    State Police's contract;
11        (5) have a mechanism to inventory unused kits provided
12    to a health care facility from the vendor;
13        (6) provide users the option to either scan the bar
14    code or manually enter the sexual assault evidence kit
15    number into the tracking program;
16        (7) provide a mechanism to create a separate unique
17    identification number for cases in which a sexual evidence
18    kit was not collected, but other evidence was collected;
19        (8) provide the ability to record date, time, and user
20    ID whenever any user accesses the system;
21        (9) provide for real-time entry and update of data;
22        (10) contain report functions including:
23            (A) health care facility compliance with
24        applicable laws;
25            (B) law enforcement agency compliance with
26        applicable laws;



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1            (C) law enforcement agency annual inventory of
2        cases to each State's Attorney office; and
3            (D) forensic lab compliance with applicable laws;
4        and
5        (11) provide automatic notifications to the law
6    enforcement agency when:
7            (A) a health care facility has collected sexual
8        assault evidence;
9            (B) unreleased sexual assault evidence that is
10        being stored by the law enforcement agency has met the
11        minimum storage requirement by law; and
12            (C) timelines as required by law are not met for a
13        particular case, if not otherwise documented.
14    (b) The Department may shall develop rules to implement a
15sexual assault evidence tracking system that conforms with
16subsections (a-1) and (a-2) of this Section. The Department
17shall design the criteria for the sexual assault evidence
18tracking system so that, to the extent reasonably possible,
19the system can use existing technologies and products,
20including, but not limited to, currently available tracking
21systems. The sexual assault evidence tracking system shall be
22operational and shall begin tracking and reporting sexual
23assault evidence no later than one year after the effective
24date of this amendatory Act of the 101st General Assembly. The
25Department may adopt additional rules as it deems necessary to
26ensure that the sexual assault evidence tracking system



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1continues to be a useful tool for law enforcement.
2    (c) A treatment hospital, a treatment hospital with
3approved pediatric transfer, an out-of-state hospital approved
4by the Department of Public Health to receive transfers of
5Illinois sexual assault survivors, or an approved pediatric
6health care facility defined in Section 1a of the Sexual
7Assault Survivors Emergency Treatment Act shall participate in
8the sexual assault evidence tracking system created under this
9Section and in accordance with rules adopted under subsection
10(b), including, but not limited to, the collection of sexual
11assault evidence and providing information regarding that
12evidence, including, but not limited to, providing notice to
13law enforcement that the evidence has been collected.
14    (d) The operations of the sexual assault evidence tracking
15system shall be funded by moneys appropriated for that purpose
16from the State Crime Laboratory Fund and funds provided to the
17Department through asset forfeiture, together with such other
18funds as the General Assembly may appropriate.
19    (e) To ensure that the sexual assault evidence tracking
20system is operational, the Department may adopt emergency
21rules to implement the provisions of this Section under
22subsection (ff) of Section 5-45 of the Illinois Administrative
23Procedure Act.
24    (f) Information, including, but not limited to, evidence
25and records in the sexual assault evidence tracking system is
26exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act.



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1(Source: P.A. 101-377, eff. 8-16-19.)
2    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
3becoming law.".