Does Oregon law require...
An Audit of Untested Rape Kits?
Yes – Annual
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 Oregon is unknown. However, the Oregon State Police is currently conducting an audit of untested rape kits. As of September 2015, a preliminary report announced 4,902 untested kits across the state. Oregon law does not require law enforcement agencies to track rape kits.
In 2014, The Accountability Project issued an open records request to bring the number of untested rape kits in Portland to light. Through this request, we uncovered a backlog of 1,931 untested kits in Portland. In 2015, we issued open records requests in Corvallis and Eugene. Through our efforts, we have learned that the Corvallis Police Department received 127 rape kits into evidence from 2005 to 2015, and retained 86 untested kits in police storage. Following our records request, 20 of these 86 have been submitted to the lab for testing, and 38 are anonymous kits (in which a survivor has chosen not to report the assault to the police). As of February 2016, the Corvallis Police Department reported 28 untested, non-anonymous kits. To date, we have not received a complete response from Eugene.
In 2015, the U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office awarded the City of Portland $1,189,790 and the Multnomah County District Attorney's Office $1,995,453 to test kits, investigate and prosecute cases, and re-engage survivors.
In 2016, the BJA awarded the City of Portland an additional $1,000,000 to sustain this work. In the same year, the U.S. Department of Justice National Institute of Justice awarded the Oregon State Police $1,040,188 to implement an evidence management program to inventory, track, and report untested and unsubmitted rape kits.
In 2016, Oregon enacted a law establishing an annual audit of untested rape kits. The law also requires law enforcement agencies to establish guidelines for collecting and submitting kits for analysis. The guidelines must require law enforcement to pick up newly collected kits from medical facilities within 7 days and submit kits for testing within 14 days.
The 2016 law also mandates each agency to adopt policies that ensure survivors receive information about the status of their rape kit, including the location, testing date, testing results, and estimated destruction date of each kit. Each agency must designate one person within the agency to receive all telephone inquiries about rape kits and each inquiry must be responded to within 30 days.
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