Department of Justice revises guidelines for forensic exams in sexual assault cases

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Department of Justice has revised national guidelines for forensic medical exams in sexual assault cases.

The new guidelines focus on improving techniques for collecting forensic evidence after an assault. That includes the accessibility of exam kits, the time an exam takes place after an assault and how the evidence is handled and transformed for documentation.

The standards are mandatory for practitioners working in federal prisons and in the military.

According to Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker, the Kansas City area is ahead of the curve when it comes to the new guidelines.

"In Kansas City, we have many years of conducting training in this area. We have professionals that do those types of exams rather than just any nurse practitioner," Baker said.

The new guidelines also state victims should be told about options about where exams can be conducted.

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