Alaska

Backlog Snapshot

Untested Kits:

3,484*

Testing:

In Progress

Does Alaska...
Inventory untested rape kits?
Legislation pending.
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?
No.
Track rape kits?
No tracking system exists.
Appropriate funding for rape kit reform?
Legislation pending.

In 2015, Alaska Governor Bill Walker began a preliminary audit. 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 to conduct a one-time statewide audit of untested rape kits. The audit report, released in November 2017, identified 3,484 unsubmitted kits in possession of law enforcement agencies statewide. Alaska law does not require law enforcement agencies to track or test rape kits.

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 the Alaska Department of Public Safety (DPS) $1,090,450 to process more than 1,000 untested rape kits, investigate and prosecute cases, and re-engage survivors. In 2017, the BJA awarded DPS an additional $443,727 to sustain this work.

H.B. 31, which is awaiting the governor's signature, would require law enforcement training in sexual assault, establish categories for sexual assault reports, and mandate annual inventories of untested rape kits. Read Joyful Heart's letter of support. This year, Alaska legislators also included $2.5 million in the state capital budget to process and store rape kits. The budget bill remains pending.

TAKE ACTION TODAY TO BRING RAPE KIT REFORM TO ALASKA

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