Arizona

Backlog Snapshot

Arizona
Untested Kits:

6,424*

Testing:

In Progress

Does Arizona...
Inventory untested rape kits?
Yes, recurring inventory.
Test backlogged rape kits?
Yes, testing in progress.
Test newly collected rape kits?
Yes, all newly collected kits are being tested.
Grant victims rights to notice and be informed?
Legislation pending.
Track rape kits?
Legislation pending.
Appropriate funding for rape kit reform?
Yes, ongoing.

In 2016, Governor Doug Ducey issued an executive order requiring a one-time statewide audit, and establishing the Arizona Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Kit Task Force. That same year, the task force reported a total of 6,424 untested rape kits in storage at law enforcement agencies across the state. Of these, 4,367 are from Maricopa County. Arizona law does not require law enforcement agencies to track rape kits. 

In 2014, The Accountability Project issued an open records request to bring the number of untested rape kits in Tucson to light. Through this request, and local media pressure, we uncovered a backlog of 1,849 untested kits in Tucson in 2015. 

In 2015, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office awarded the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office $1,929,145 to test 2,300 rape kits; the Tempe Police Department $363,699 to test 500 rape kits; and the Tucson Police Department Crime Lab $1,038,000 to test 1,200 kits. 

In 2016, Arizona legislators appropriated $500,000 in new funding for rape kit testing in FY17.

In 2016, the U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) awarded Maricopa County $1,232,705 and the City of Phoenix Police Department $1,597,406 to test kits, investigate and prosecute cases, and re-engage survivors. In 2017, the BJA awarded Maricopa County an additional $1,199,503 to sustain this work.

In 2017, Arizona enacted a law that requires hospitals to notify law enforcement agencies within 24 hours of completing a rape kit exam, requires law enforcement agencies to pick up kits within five days, and requires law enforcement agencies to submit kits to the lab within 15 days of collection. The law also requires law enforcement agencies and laboratories to report annually on kits collected and tested. Read Joyful Heart's letter of support.

In 2017, Arizona appropriated $1.2 million in the FY18 budget to test backlogged kits in the state. Legislators also introduced bills to grant sexual assault survivors the right to information about their kits and to fund the testing of previously unsubmitted rape kits, but these bills failed to pass. 

In 2018, Arizona legislators introduced bills that would grant sexual assault survivors the right to notice regarding rape kit testing status and results and require the Department of Public Safety to develop a statewide tracking system for rape kits. 

TAKE ACTION TODAY TO BRING RAPE KIT REFORM TO ARIZONA

 

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