Nebraska

Backlog Snapshot

Nebraska
Untested Kits:

Unknown

Testing:

Unknown

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

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

In 2014, The Accountability Project issued an open records request to bring the number of untested kits in Omaha to light. Omaha has not fully responded to our November 2014 records request. As of August 2015, the Omaha Police Department (OPD) had 1,271 rape kits in custody that were collected between 2000 and 2014. OPD stated that “no record exists” regarding the testing status of these kits, and OPD took no additional measures to attempt to provide this information. As such, we were unable to ascertain the status of these 1,271 rape kits.

In 2016, the Nebraska Legislature passed L.B. 843, which ensures that victims are not charged for their sexual assault forensic medical examinations, allowed for the purchase of a single type of kit for the state, and created the position of a nurse examiner administrator to oversee the program and protocol for the state. 

In 2017, Nebraska legislators introduced a bill that would mandate the swift testing of all newly collected rape kits and grant sexual assault survivors the right to notice regarding rape kit testing status and results.

In 2018, the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) awarded the City of Omaha $1,901,640 to test kits, investigate and prosecute cases, and re-engage survivors. 

In 2019, legislators introduced a bill that would grant survivors the right to: have an advocate present during a medical forensic examination (exam); a free exam regardless whether they choose to report to law enforcement; prompt analysis of their kit; contact law enforcement to obtain information on the status of their kit; be informed, upon request, of any testing results; and be reasonably protected from the defendant. The bill would also require medical facilities to submit collected kits to law enforcement, who would be directed to preserve the kit until the maximum statute of limitations. Medical providers and law enforcement officers would be required to provide survivors with information explaining their rights under the law.

 TAKE ACTION TODAY TO BRING RAPE KIT REFORM TO NEBRASKA

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