Iowa

Backlog Snapshot

Iowa
Untested Kits:

4,265*

Testing:

Unknown

Does Iowa...
Inventory untested rape kits?
Yes, a one-time inventory.
Test backlogged rape kits?
Yes, testing in progress.
Test newly collected rape kits?
Legislation pending.
Grant victims rights to notice and be informed?
Legislation pending.
Track rape kits?
Legislation pending.
Appropriate funding for rape kit reform?
No.

In 2016, Iowa enacted a law requiring the Iowa Department of Justice to conduct a statewide audit of untested rape kits. In March 2017, the Attorney General reported at least 4,265 untested kits in storage across Iowa, some dating back to 1992. As of March 2018, 338 backlogged kits have been sent to private laboratories for testing. Iowa law does not require law enforcement agencies to track or test rape kits. 

In 2015, the U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) awarded $2,000,000 to the Iowa Department of Justice to test kits, investigate and prosecute cases, and re-engage survivors. In 2016, the BJA awarded the Iowa Department of Justice an additional $1,000,000 to sustain this work. In March 2018, the state launched the Iowa SAKI website, which offers resources for stakeholders and reports progress on testing backlogged kits. 

In 2017, Iowa legislators amended the law to require that all backlogged kits identified in the audit be maintained indefinitely. 

In 2017, the U.S. Department of Justice National Institute of Justice awarded the Iowa Department of Justice $796,985 to develop an electronic, statewide tracking system for rape kits.

In 2018, legislators introduced a bill that would mandate the submission and testing of all newly collected rape kits, grant survivors the right to be informed of changes in the status of their rape kits, and require the Department of Public Safety to develop a statewide tracking system by January 2019.

TAKE ACTION TODAY TO BRING RAPE KIT REFORM TO IOWA 

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