Backlog Snapshot

Untested Kits:



In Progress

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

Yes – One-Time

Tracking of Rape Kits?


Testing of all backlogged rape kits?


Testing of all rape kits in the future?


Victims to be notified of the status of their cases?


Funding for testing kits?


*Remaining to test, of the 19,955 backlogged kits reported to the state crime lab by 2017

Learn more about how we track reform

The extent of the untested rape kit backlog in Texas is unknown. In 2011, Texas became the second state to enact a law requiring law enforcement agencies to send all newly collected kits to a crime lab for testing within 30 days. The law directed the lab to test the kits as soon as is feasible. The law also required law enforcement agencies to count the untested rape kits in their storage facilities and to have them analyzed by September 2014. As of January 2017, local law enforcement agencies have submitted 18,946 untested kits to the state lab for testing under this law, of which 2,138 remain to be tested. 

In 2013, Texas legislators amended the state's crime victims' bill of rights to grant survivors of sexual assault the right to access information about the location and status of their rape kits. That year, legislators also appropriated $11,000,000 in funding to test backlogged kits.

In 2015, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office awarded the Austin Police Department $1,994,648 to test 3,070 rape kits; the Jefferson County Regional Crime Laboratory was awarded $789,223 to test 1,300 rape kits; and the Travis County Sheriff's Office was awarded $97,305 to test 148 rape kits. Also, in 2015, the U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) awarded Dallas County $1,599,170 to test kits, investigate and prosecute cases, and re-engage survivors.

In 2016, the BJA awarded Dallas County an additional $1,000,000 to sustain this work.

In 2017, Texas enacted multiple rape kit reform laws:

In 2017, with the enactment of a tracking system law, Texas became the first state in the country to enact all six pillars of comprehensive rape kit reform, including laws requiring an audit, testing of backlogged kits, testing of newly collected kits, tracking of kits, victims' right to notice provisions, and funding for rape kit reform. Legislators also appropriated $4.2 million in the 2017 budget (Article V, Section 57) to test backlogged kits.

In 2017, the BJA awarded the City of Austin $2,000,000 to support local efforts to inventory and test kits, investigate and prosecute resulting cases, and support survivor re-engagement efforts.


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