Does West Virginia law require...
An Audit of Untested Rape Kits?
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?
The extent of the untested rape kit backlog in West Virginia is unknown. West Virginia law does not require law enforcement agencies to count, track, or test rape kits.
In 2015, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office awarded the West Virginia State Police Forensic Laboratory $1,763,281 to test 2,400 rape kits. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) awarded the West Virginia Division of Justice and Community Services $1,170,800 to test kits, investigate and prosecute cases, and re-engage survivors.
In 2016, the BJA awarded the West Virginia Division of Justice and Community Services an additional $1,000,000 to sustain this work.
In 2017, West Virginia legislators introduced multiple rape kit reform bills:
- S.B. 69, which would grant survivors key rights, including the right to have their kits preserved for 20 years, the right to receive information about the status and location of their kits, and the right to receive notice 60 days in advance of planned kit destruction.
- S.B. 167, which would require the Sexual Assault Forensic Examination Commission to study best practice protocols for timely transfer of rape kits from hospitals to law enforcement agencies and to the lab; develop deadlines to ensure the timely submission and testing of all newly collected rape kits; and propose rules for legislative approval.
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