The Backlog:


We do not know the extent of the backlog in Michigan—there is only information about the backlog at the local level, which you can see here. Like most states, Michigan does not currently require its law enforcement agencies to count or track rape kits.  Take action today to advocate for transparency and change from our elected officials.

On June 5, 2013, Governor Rick Snyder announced that the State of Michigan would allocate $4 million from state legal settlement awards to fund the testing of the rape kits remaining in Detroit's backlog. A year later, on June 12, 2014, the state legislature appropriated $3 million in litigation and settlement funds for the annual budget for the Department of Attorney General to fund prosecutions resulting from testing backlogged rape kits. 

In October 2014, the state enacted legislation that created the Sexual Assault Kit Tracking and Reporting Commission to put in place statewide guidelines for tracking rape kits as they move through the testing process and testing results. The Commission will include the state attorney general's office, representatives from Michigan State Police and other law enforcement agencies and advocates. 

  • Backlog Status

Testing Status Unknown
  • Reform Status

Tracking Testing Victim Notification
No Known Reform
Reform in Progress
Partial Reform
Complete Reform
  • Additional Information

The state has enacted legislation, House Bill 5445, that says going forward, rape kits cannot be released to law enforcement without the written consent of the victim. When there is consent, the health care provider must notify the head of the law enforcement agency having jurisdiction over the area in which the medical facility is located. Those who do not have consent must inform survivors about their evidence storage policies. Unreleased kits must be stored for a minimum of one year before being destroyed. 

When law enforcement receives such notice, they are to collect the evidence within 14 days. When they collect it, they are to assign it a unique numerical identifier and submit it to a lab within 14 days of collection. The lab is to analyze the kit within 3 months of receipt if sufficient staffing and resources are available. 

If an agency intends to destroy any rape kit before the statute of limitations on the case has expired, the agency must notify the survivor in writing at least 60 days in advance of destroying the evidence. 

While this law will help to prevent future backlogs in Michigan, the legislature must take additional steps to provide survivors with greater access to justice, including requiring the counting and testing of all rape kits booked into evidence.

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