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 test rape kits. Legislation pending in the Michigan House of Representatives could change that.

House Bill 5445 states that 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. 

As we have seen in other states with similar legislation, such reforms can give us a more accurate picture of the backlog. This can happen in Michigan, too. Take action today to advocate for transparency and change from our elected officials.

  • Backlog Status

Testing Status Unknown
  • Reform Status

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

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. 

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