Backlog Snapshot

Untested Kits:



In Progress

Does Alaska...
Inventory untested rape kits?
Yes, recurring inventory.
Test backlogged rape kits?
Yes, testing in progress.
Test newly collected rape kits?
No, the state has not mandated testing.
Grant victims rights to notice and be informed?
Track rape kits?
No tracking system exists.
Appropriate funding for rape kit reform?
Yes, one-time.

In 2015, Alaska Governor Bill Walker began a preliminary rape kit inventory. As of August 2016, the governor's office announced approximately 3,800 untested kits statewide. In 2017, Alaska enacted a law requiring the Department of Public Safety (DPS) to conduct a one-time statewide inventory of untested rape kits. The inventory report, released in November 2017, identified 3,484 unsubmitted kits in possession of law enforcement agencies statewide. The 2018 inventory report indicated the number of untested kits in the state fell to 2,568. 

In 2015, The Accountability Project issued an open records request to bring the number of untested kits in Anchorage to light. In September 2016, the Northern Light reported that the Anchorage Police Department (APD) had 1,691 untested kits in storage. Through our correspondence with APD, we confirmed that number, and discovered that these untested kits date as far back as 1993.

In 2016, the U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) awarded DPS $1,090,450 to process nearly 1,000 pieces of evidence which included 707 rape kits, investigate and prosecute cases, and re-engage survivors. In 2017, the BJA awarded DPS an additional $443,727 to sustain this work.

In 2018, Alaska legislators appropriated $2.75 million in the state capital budget to process and store rape kits. DPS provides progress updates on their website. Alaska also enacted a law requiring an annual inventory of untested rape kits, law enforcement training in sexual assault, and standard definitions for two different categories of sexual assault reports. Read Joyful Heart's letter of support.


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