Backlog Snapshot

Untested Kits:




Does Montana...
Inventory untested rape kits?
Yes, a one-time inventory.
Test backlogged rape kits?
Yes, testing in progress.
Test newly collected rape kits?
No, the state has not mandated testing.
Grant victims rights to notice and be informed?
Track rape kits?
No tracking system exists.
Appropriate funding for rape kit reform?

*According to a 2016 survey conducted by the Sexual Assault Evidence Task Force, as reported by the Flathead Beacon

Learn more about how we track reform

The extent of the untested rape kit backlog in Montana is unknown. In 2015, Montana Attorney General Tim Fox announced the establishment of the Montana Sexual Assault Evidence Task Force to examine the backlog of untested rape kits in the state. The task force is responsible for examining the number and status of untested rape kits in Montana law enforcement agencies, and identifying the kits that need to be tested. The group is also responsible for seeking funding opportunities and developing policies for rape kit testing. In 2016, the task force announced that there were 1,410 untested rape kits across the state. Montana law does not require law enforcement agencies to count, track, or test rape kits. 

In 2015, The Accountability Project issued an open records request to bring the number of untested kits in Billings to light. Through our efforts, we have learned that the Billings Police Department submitted 97% of all rape kits received between 2006 and 2015 to the lab for testing. As of November 2016, the Billings Police Department reported 5 untested kits in storage.

In 2016, the U.S. Department of Justice National Institute of Justice awarded the Montana Department of Justice $284,500 to implement an evidence management program to inventory, track, and report untested and unsubmitted rape kits. In the same year, the U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) awarded the Montana Board of Crime Control (BCC) $1,999,040 to test kits, investigate and prosecute cases, and re-engage survivors.In 2017, the BJA awarded the BCC an additional $917,740 to sustain this work.


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