Arizona

Backlog Snapshot

Arizona
Untested Kits:

6,424*

Testing:

In Progress

Does Arizona law require...
An Audit of Untested Rape Kits?

Yes – Annual

Tracking of Rape Kits?

No

Testing of all backlogged rape kits?

No

Testing of all rape kits in the future?

Yes

Victims to be notified of the status of their cases?

No

Funding for testing kits?

Yes

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 count, track, or test 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, the U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance 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 2016, Arizona legislators appropriated $500,000 in new funding for rape kit testing in FY17.

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. 

TAKE ACTION TODAY TO BRING RAPE KIT REFORM TO ARIZONA

 

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