Backlog Snapshot

Untested Kits:




Does Maryland...
Inventory untested rape kits?
Yes, a one-time inventory.
Test backlogged rape kits?
No, the state has not committed to testing.
Test newly collected rape kits?
Legislation pending.
Grant victims rights to notice and be informed?
Track rape kits?
Legislation pending.
Appropriate funding for rape kit reform?

In January 2017, the State Attorney General's Office released an audit report that found 3,700 untested rape kits statewide. Maryland law does not require law enforcement agencies to track or test rape kits. 

In 2014, The Accountability Project issued an open records request to bring the number of untested kits in Baltimore to light. In response to our request, Joyful Heart received contradictory information from the Baltimore Police Department and the Baltimore Police Department Crime Lab. In August 2016, the Department of Justice found that, between 2010 and 2014, the Baltimore Police Department tested rape kits in just 15% of sexual assault cases, and otherwise systematically failed sexual assault survivors.

In 2015, Maryland enacted a law requiring law enforcement agencies to conduct a one-time audit of untested rape kits. This audit identified 3,700 untested rape kits across the state, as reported by the State Attorney General in 2017.

That same year, Maryland also enacted a law requiring health care professionals to provide victims with the investigating law enforcement agency’s contact information to inquire about the status of their case. The law requires law enforcement to inform a victim about the status of the rape kit testing and all available results, upon the victim’s request. 

In 2017, Maryland enacted a law requiring law enforcement and other agencies to preserve all newly collected rape kits for 20 years following collection, notify survivors at least 60 days before planned kit destruction, and keep kits for longer, upon written request. The law also grants survivors the right to receive, within 30 days of request, information about the location and status of their kits. Read Joyful Heart's testimony in support.

In 2018, legislators introduced bills that would require the Department of State Police to develop a statewide tracking system for rape kits, which must allow survivors to anonymously track or receive updates regarding the status of their kits, and mandate the swift testing of all newly collected rape kits.


keep up with backlog news

END THE BACKLOG is a JOYFUL HEART FOUNDATION initiative and a proud supporter of