Backlog Snapshot

Untested Kits:



In Progress

Does Alabama...
Inventory untested rape kits?
No statewide inventory.
Test backlogged rape kits?
No, the state has not committed to testing.
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?

The extent of the untested rape kit backlog in Alabama is unknown. Alabama law does not require law enforcement agencies to count, track, or test rape kits.

In 2014, The Accountability Project issued an open records request to bring the number of untested kits in Birmingham to light. Birmingham Police Department stated that they submit all kits to the lab for testing, and that, as of February 2015, there was a backlog of 442 kits from Birmingham awaiting testing at the state lab. 

In 2015, the U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) awarded the Mobile Police Department $828,203 to test 1,793 kits. 

In 2016, the BJA awarded the Mobile Police Department $118,111 to sustain this work. In 2016, the BJA also awarded the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office $1,515,619 to test kits, investigate and prosecute cases, and re-engage survivors. in 2017, the BJA awarded the Mobile Police Department an additional $1,962,929 to implement a coordinated community response to centralize how sexual assault cases are handled within the jurisdiction. In 2018, BJA awarded the Mobile Police Department $1.5 million to sustain this work. 

In 2018, legislators introduced two bills (S.B. 388 and S.B. 355) that would require the submission and testing of all newly collected rape kits, mandate the development of a statewide tracking system, grant survivors the right to know the status and location of their rape kits, and require recurring, statewide inventories of rape kits. These bills failed to pass. 

In 2019, Alabama legislators introduced S.B. 41, which would have established the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of rights. The bill stalled in the House of Representatives. We expect the bill to be reintroduced next session.


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