Mississippi

Backlog Snapshot

Mississippi
Untested Kits:

Unknown

Testing:

Unknown

Does Mississippi...
Inventory untested rape kits?
No statewide inventory.
Test backlogged rape kits?
No, the state has not committed to testing.
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?
No.

The extent of the untested rape kit backlog in Mississippi is unknown. Mississippi law does not require law enforcement agencies to count, track, or test rape kits. 

In 2015, The Accountability Project issued an open records request to bring the number of untested kits in Jackson to light. The Jackson Police Department reported to us that they “used” 1,498 kits between 2004 and 2014. It is unclear what “used” means and we have not been able to obtain an explanation. The Jackson Police Department has not fully responded to our records request.  

In 2017, the U.S. Department of Justice National Institute of Justice awarded the Gautier Police Department $21,478 to develop an electronic evidence tracking system for rape kits.

In 2019, Mississippi legislators introduced a bill that would require the Mississippi Forensics Laboratory to test kits and upload any DNA profiles into the national DNA database within 120 days of initial receipt, or send the kit to another crime lab for processing within 30 days of receipt. H.B. 460 would also direct law enforcement to, upon the survivor's request, inform the survivor of the status of the kit and respond to the request within 30 days. Survivors would also be granted to the right to be informed if: a DNA profile was obtained from DNA analysis; there was a DNA match in the Mississippi Forensics Laboratory DNA database; law enforcement does not receive DNA analysis of the kit within six months; and if law enforcement intends to destroy the kit, the survivor would be given notification within 60 days of destruction. The bill would also extend the rape kit storage period to 20 years, or if the survivor was a minor, until the survivor’s 40th birthday. Lastly, the bill would prohibit hospitals from charging survivors for their rape kit. The bill failed to pass. 

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