Counting in Progress
Does New York law require...
An Audit of Untested Rape Kits?
Yes – Periodic
Tracking of Rape Kits?
Testing of all backlogged rape kits?
Testing of all rape kits in the future?
Victims to be notified of the status of their cases?
Funding for testing kits?
The extent of the untested rape kit backlog in New York State is unknown. However, a law passed in 2016 requires all law enforcement and prosecutorial agencies to regularly count and report the number of untested kits in their possession to the Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS), beginning 90 days after enactment. DCJS must deliver an audit report to legislators by March 1, 2017. New York law does not require law enforcement to track rape kits.
In 1999, New York City had at least 17,000 untested rape kits, all of which were tested by 2003.
In 2015, The Accountability Project issued open records requests to bring the number of untested kits in Albany, Buffalo and Rochester to light. To date, we have not received complete responses to these requests.
The 2016 law states that, starting 90 days after enactment, law enforcement agencies must submit all newly collected kits to a lab within 10 days of collection and the lab must analyze these kits within 90 days of receipt. Within 13 months of enactment, law enforcement agencies must submit all previously unsubmitted kits to the lab for testing. The lab must analyze these kits within 120 days of receipt, and return their findings to the agencies within 90 days of analysis.
The 2016 law also mandates that, beginning one year after enactment, law enforcement agencies must report quarterly to DCJS regarding the number of rape kits they collect, the number they submit for processing, the number they do not submit for processing, and the length of time between kit collection and submission for processing. Additionally, all labs in the state must report quarterly to DCJS regarding the number of kits submitted for processing; the number of kits processed for DNA profiles; and the number of kits not processed for testing, including the reasons for not testing these kits. Beginning January 1, 2018, DCJS must submit an annual report to legislators aggregating this quarterly information.
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