Does North Carolina law require...
An Audit of Untested Rape Kits?
Tracking of Rape Kits?
Testing of all backlogged rape kits?
Testing of all rape kits in the future?
Victims to be notified of the status of their cases?
Funding for testing kits?
The extent of the untested rape kit backlog in North Carolina is unknown. North Carolina 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 rape kits in Charlotte to light. Through this request, we uncovered a backlog of 1,019 untested rape kits in Charlotte. In 2015, we issued open records requests to Durham and Raleigh. To date, we have not received complete responses to these requests.
In 2015, the U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) awarded the City of Fayetteville $363,090 to test kits, investigate and prosecute cases, and re-engage survivors. Also in 2015, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office awarded the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department $557,974 to test 885 rape kits. In 2016, the BJA awarded the City of Fayetteville an additional $793,372 to sustain this work.
In 2016, the BJA awarded new grants to several agencies in North Carolina: the City of Charlotte was awarded $1,125,606 to process 300 unsubmitted rape kits, investigate and prosecute cases, and re-engage survivors; and the City of Greenville Police Department was awarded $219,496 to process 312 unsubmitted rape kits, investigate and prosecute cases, and re-engage survivors.
In 2017, North Carolina legislators introduced a bill that would require a one-time audit of untested rape kits in storage across the state. The bill also appropriates $699,484 in recurring funds to support forensic testing for each year of the 2017-2019 biennium.
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