Oklahoma

Backlog Snapshot

Oklahoma
Untested Kits:

7,270*

Testing:

Unknown

Does Oklahoma...
Inventory untested rape kits?
Yes, a one-time inventory.
Test backlogged rape kits?
No, the state has not committed to testing.
Test newly collected rape kits?
Legislation pending.
Grant victims rights to notice and be informed?
Legislation pending.
Track rape kits?
Yes, tracking system in process.
Appropriate funding for rape kit reform?
No.

*According to June 2018 findings from a statewide audit

Learn more about how we track reform

A 2018 statewide inventory of untested rape kits, mandated by Governor Mary Fallin in 2017, uncovered 7,270 untested kits in the state. Oklahoma law does not require law enforcement agencies to count or test rape kits.

In 2014, The Accountability Project issued open records requests to bring the number of untested rape kits in Oklahoma City and Tulsa to light. Through this request, we uncovered a backlog of 3,783 untested kits in Tulsa. In April 2014, the Oklahoma City Office of the Municipal Counselor declined to respond to our legal request for its rape kit records from the past ten years.

In April 2017, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin issued an executive order convening the Oklahoma Task Force on Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence, to conduct a statewide audit of untested rape kits. The Task Force also studied the process for collection and analysis of rape kits in Oklahoma, and utlimately reported 7,270 untested kits in the state.

In 2018, Oklahoma legislators introduced a bill that would mandate annual inventory reports of untested rape kits in the custody of law enforcement agencies statewide and mandate the swift testing of all newly collected rape kits. This bill failed to pass.

Also in 2018, the U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) awarded the City of Tulsa $1,523,037 to test kits, investigate and prosecute cases, and re-engage survivors in the criminal justice system. 

In 2019, Oklahoma enacted a law to require the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) to create a statewide rape kit tracking system for newly collected and backlogged kits. Law enforcement agencies, medical providers, or forensic labs that had untested kits found in the 2017-2018 statewide audit must participate in the system. Additionally, the tracking system must include a portal to allow survivors to access the system. 

In 2019, legislators worked on additional pieces of legislation:

  • S.B. 975: Under this bill, law enforcement would be mandated to submit rape kits to a crime lab for testing within 20 days of receiving the evidence with priority given to kits that will yield evidentiary value to the investigation and prosecution of the alleged sexual assault. Additionally, the bill would require OSBI and each crime lab in the state to adopt procedures for the collection, submission, and testing of newly collected rape kits, as well as implement a protocol for prioritizing the testing backlogged kits. This bill is pending in the legislature. 
  • H.B. 2639: This legislation would establish certain rights for sexual assault survivors, including the right to know the status of their rape kit. Medical facilities, law enforcement, and prosecutors would be mandated to inform victims of their rights. The bill also calls for the creation of a document that outlines sexual assault victims’ rights and law enforcement to provide it to victims. This bill is pending in the legislature.
  • H.B. 1319: This bill would require law enforcement to pick up rape kits within five days of receiving notice from the hospital, and submit kits for testing within 15 days, with an average completion time for analysis to be no more than 45 days by January 2022. The legislation would additionally call for quarterly law enforcement reports, including the number of sexual assaults reported, kits submitted for testing, kits waiting to be tested, and other data. The state crime lab would be required to report annually on the data it receives and make the information publicly available. This bill is pending in the legislature. 

 TAKE ACTION TODAY TO BRING RAPE KIT REFORM TO OKLAHOMA

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