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Laws About the Sexual Assault Kit Backlog

State Laws

These state laws (enacted and pending) require mandatory submission of sexual assault kits, including old, untested kits and current kits.

Enacted:

Audits, Inventories and Tracking:

  • California : Audit Approval 
  • On March 12, 2014, California State Senator Ellen Corbett announced the Joint Legislative Audit Committee’s approval of an audit to survey the untested rape kit backlog across the state. The audit will assess how backlog funding is being used and will analyze policies and protocols for rape kit processing in laboratories and law enforcement agencies. The audit will also recommend statutory and regulatory changes. The audit will be conducted over the next few months and a public report will be issued upon its completion. 
  • Colorado : House Bill 1020
  • Colo. Rev. Stat. § 24-33.5-113. Colorado House Bill 1020 requires the Department of Public Safety to create rules governing forensic evidence (DNA evidence) collected in a sexual assault investigation. Specifically, the bill requires that forensic testing be done in sexual assault cases if requested by a victim, and the forensic evidence must be submitted to an accredited crime laboratory within 21 days after the forensic evidence is received by a law enforcement agency.  Additionally, the bill would require law enforcement agencies to submit an inventory of untested sexual assault kits in active investigations to the Colorado Bureau of Investigations and and CBI must submit a plan to analyze all of the unanalyzed sexual assault forensic evidence in inventory. The bill requires law enforcement agencies to inform the victim of the purpose of the submission of the forensic evidence and obtain the written consent of the victim before the release. This bill became law on June 5, 2013.
  • Hawaii : House Concurrent Resolution No. 99 H.D.1
  • This bill requires the Attorney General and county police departments to coordinate with other states and federal law enforcement agencies to create an efficient tracking method for DNA rape kits. Additionally, the Attorney General must submit a report to the 2013 – 2014 Legislature, including the status of its effort in creating an efficient tracking method;  potential sources of additional funding for the Honolulu Police Department Crime Laboratory; and other recommendations, including any proposed legislation.
  • Illinois : Sexual Assault Evidence Submission Act
  • § 725 ILCS 202/5. This law, the first of its kind in the country, mandates submission and testing of all sexual assault evidence. It requires law enforcement agencies to submit sexual assault evidence kits to the Illinois State Police (ISP) within 10 days of receiving the kits, and requires ISP to analyze the kits within 10 days. The law also requires all law enforcement agencies to provide ISP with an inventory of the untested kits in their possession.
  • Louisiana : RS 15:622
  • This law requires agencies that store sexual assault kits to inventory all untested kits in their possession by January 1, 2015. By March 1, 2015, the state police crime lab must submit a report detailing the number of untested in each parish. The bill was signed into law on May 16th, 2014, and became effective on August 1st, 2014.
  • Michigan : Senate Bill 998
  • This law creates a Sexual Assault Kit Tracking and Reporting Commission, which will develop guidelines for a comprehensive, statewide, tracking system for sexual assault evidence kits. The system will be able to track the location, status, and completed test results of the kits. This bill was signed into law by Governor Snyder on October 14, 2014.
  • Tennessee : Pub. Ch. 733
  • Tennessee Pub. Ch. 733 requires law enforcement agencies to inventory and submit a report detailing the number of stored, untested kits by July 1, 2014. By September 1, 2014, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is required to submit a report to the legislature detailing the number of untested kits by county.  This law was signed into law on May 16th, 2014. 
  • Virginia : Senate Bill 658
  • Virginia Senate Bill 658 requires that local and state law enforcement must inventory all sexual assault kits that have not been submitted for analysis before July 1, 2014. The Department of Forensic Science must submit the results of this inventory to the General Assembly by July 1, 2015. This bill was signed into law April 4, 2014. 

DNA Victims' Rights and Victim Notification:

  • California : Sexual Assault Victims' DNA Bill of Rights
    Cal. Penal Code tit. 16, § 680
    In 2003, California passed the "Sexual Assault Victims' DNA Bill of Rights," the first law of its kind in the nation. This legislation addresses the issue of the importance of timely DNA analysis of rape kit evidence and provides sexual assault victims with the right to be informed of the status of the testing of their kits and whether or not a match has been identified.
  • Colorado : House Bill 1020
    Colo. Rev. Stat. § 24-33.5-113
    Colorado House Bill 1020 requires the Department of Public Safety to create rules governing forensic evidence (DNA evidence) collected in a sexual assault investigation. Specifically, the bill requires that forensic testing be done in sexual assault cases if requested by a victim, and the forensic evidence must be submitted to an accredited crime laboratory within 21 days after the forensic evidence is received by a law enforcement agency.  Additionally, the bill would require law enforcement agencies to submit an inventory of untested sexual assault kits in active investigations to the Colorado Bureau of Investigations and and CBI must submit a plan to analyze all of the unanalyzed sexual assault forensic evidence in inventory. The bill requires law enforcement agencies to inform the victim of the purpose of the submission of the forensic evidence and obtain the written consent of the victim before the release. This bill became law on June 5, 2013.
  • Texas : Gov’t Code § 420.041-.043, .0735Senate Bill 1636

    Texas S.B. 1636 amends Chapter 420 the Texas Government Code to require law enforcement to submit rape kits to the lab within 30 days of receipt. The law also allows department labs to contract out to private accredited labs to expedite testing. S.B. 1636 requires that, when requested, the department compare results from a newly tested rape kit with DNA information in the state’s database and CODIS. The law also makes rape kits confidential and, with a few exceptions, limits their release without the written consent of an appropriate party. Lastly, the law requires the Department of Public Safety to report the number of untested kits and submit a report with a projected timeline for completing the testing on all sexual assault kits.

    Texas Senate Bill 1636 also requires law enforcement agencies to submit an inventory to the Department of Public safety detailing the number of untested kits by October 15, 2011. The law then requires law enforcement to submit all untested kits to labs by April 1, 2012. By February 15, 2013, the Department of Public Safety must submit a report containing a timeline for testing the untested kits. The Department must analyze (or contract a private lab to analyze) the untested kits and complete the required DNA comparison by September 1, 2014.
  • Texas : Bill 83(R) SB 1192
    This amendment to the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure enumerates rights for victims of sexual assault, their guardians, and relatives of deceased victims. Upon request, victims have the right to receive notice of any evidence collected in the investigation of their crime and the status of the analysis of the evidence, including when the evidence is submitted to a crime lab, when the evidence is compared to DNA profiles in the database, and the results of the comparison. The victim can also designate a third party to receive the notices.
  • Utah : House Bill 157
  • Utah House Bill 157 expands the rights of victims of sexual assault. The bill provides victims with a right to be informed when  a DNA profile is obtained, the profile is entered into the Utah Combined DNA Index System, or the profile results in a match. A victim may also designate a representative to receive such notifications. The victim must also be notified if law enforcement decides not to submit their kit for testing or intends to dispose of their kit. This bill was enacted March 26,  2014. 

Mandatory Sexual Assault Kit Testing:

  • California: California Bill 1517
    California Bill 1517 amends the “Sexual Assault Victims’ DNA Bill of Rights,” to require law enforcement to submit sexual assault forensic evidence to the crime lab within five days of receipt. The crime lab must test  and enter resulting DNA profiles into CODIS within 30 days. Currently, California law requires that a victim be notified if law enforcement elects not to test DNA within the proscribed time limits only in cases where the identity of the perpetrator is at issue. This bill revises current law to require notification in any case where DNA is not tested, regardless of whether the perpetrator’s identity is at issue. This bill was signed by the Governor on September 30.
  • California Assembly Joint Resolution 45 
    This resolution urges the United States Congress to approve President Obama’s $35 million grant proposal for states to support processing of DNA evidence and the elimination of the rape kit backlog. The resolution affirms California’s commitment to systematic reform, while recognizing the existing scope of the backlog and its continued effects on victims. This resolution was Chaptered by Secretary of State on June 10th, 2014.
  • Colorado : House Bill 1020
    Colo. Rev. Stat. § 24-33.5-113
    Colorado House Bill 1020 requires the Department of Public Safety to create rules governing forensic evidence (DNA evidence) collected in a sexual assault investigation. Specifically, the bill requires that forensic testing be done in sexual assault cases if requested by a victim, and the forensic evidence must be submitted to an accredited crime laboratory within 21 days after the forensic evidence is received by a law enforcement agency.  Additionally, the bill would require law enforcement agencies to submit an inventory of untested sexual assault kits in active investigations to the Colorado Bureau of Investigations and and CBI must submit a plan to analyze all of the unanalyzed sexual assault forensic evidence in inventory. The bill requires law enforcement agencies to inform the victim of the purpose of the submission of the forensic evidence and obtain the written consent of the victim before the release. This bill became law on June 5, 2013.
  • Illinois : Sexual Assault Evidence Submission Act
    § 725 ILCS 202/5.
    This law, the first of its kind in the country, mandates submission and testing of all sexual assault evidence. It requires law enforcement agencies to submit sexual assault evidence kits to the Illinois State Police (ISP) within 10 days of receiving the kits, and requires ISP to analyze the kits within 10 days. The law also requires all law enforcement agencies to provide ISP with an inventory of the untested kits in their possession.
  • Michigan: House Bill 5445
    On June 26, 2014, Michigan’s Governor approved HB 5445, “The Sexual Assault Kit Evidence Submission Act.” This act establishes standards and procedures for the collection and analysis of sexual assault kits, including requiring law enforcement to submit kits to the laboratory within 14 days of receipt from a health care facility.
  • San Francisco, California : Ord. No. 317-10
    This ordinance requires the police chief to develop protocol aimed at achieving  1) the collection of rape kits from healthcare providers within 72 hours and 2) the completion of DNA testing within 14 days of receipt. The ordinance also creates the Police DNA Testing in Sexual Assault Cases Account, an account that receives general and grant money, money gifts, and any other funds to ensure timely testing of rape kits. This ordinance was enacted on December 6, 2010.
  • Texas : Gov’t Code § 420.041-.043, .0735Senate Bill 1636

    Texas S.B. 1636 amends Chapter 420 the Texas Government Code to require law enforcement to submit rape kits to the lab within 30 days of receipt. The law also allows department labs to contract out to private accredited labs to expedite testing. S.B. 1636 requires that, when requested, the department compare results from a newly tested rape kit with DNA information in the state’s database and CODIS. The law also makes rape kits confidential and, with a few exceptions, limits their release without the written consent of an appropriate party. Lastly, the law requires the Department of Public Safety to report the number of untested kits and submit a report with a projected timeline for completing the testing on all sexual assault kits.

    Texas Senate Bill 1636 also requires law enforcement agencies to submit an inventory to the Department of Public safety detailing the number of untested kits by October 15, 2011. The law then requires law enforcement to submit all untested kits to labs by April 1, 2012. By February 15, 2013, the Department of Public Safety must submit a report containing a timeline for testing the untested kits. The Department must analyze (or contract a private lab to analyze) the untested kits and complete the required DNA comparison by September 1, 2014.
  • Wisconsin175.405
    re: Sexual assault; evidence where no suspect has been identified.
    (1) In this section, "law enforcement agency" has the meaning given in s. 165.83 (1) (b).
    (2) Whenever a Wisconsin law enforcement agency collects, in a case of alleged or suspected sexual assault, evidence upon which deoxyribonucleic acid analysis can be performed, and the person who committed the alleged or suspected sexual assault has not been identified, the agency shall follow the procedures specified in s. 165.77 (8) and shall, in a timely manner, submit the evidence it collects to a crime laboratory, as identified in s. 165.75.

Statute of Limitations DNA Exception:

  • Tennessee : Tenn. Code Ann. § 40-2-104
    Tennessee Code § 40-2-104 (Senate Bill 831) allows prosecutors to begin a case against an offender who can only be identified by DNA evidence and, therefore, prevent the statute of limitations from expiring on the case.  Presently, DNA evidence is not sufficient under Tennessee law to begin a prosecution of a suspect identified by DNA evidence only.  This bill was passed on April 29, 2013.

Pending:

Audits, Inventories and Tracking:

  • Louisiana : Senate Bill 296 
  • This bill requires agencies that store sexual assault kits to inventory all untested kits in their possession by January 1, 2015. By March 1, 2015, the state police crime lab must submit a report detailing the number of untested in each parish. The bill was passed by the Senate on March 24. 2014, and by the House on April 30, 2014.  
  • Maryland : House Bill 1341
  • Maryland House Bill 1341 requires any health care provider who administers a sexual assault kit exam to provide the victim with the law enforcement agency contact for information regarding the status of the kit. The law also requires that a law enforcement agency in receipt of a kit must inform the victim of the status of the kit analysis and results of testing, within 30 days of the victims request. The  law also contains a provision requiring an annual inventory to track the number of untested kits. This bill was introduced on February 7, 2014.
  • Massachusetts : Senate Bill 1900
  • The Massachusetts Senate Committee on Post Audit and Oversight released a report entitled “When Time Is of the Essence: A Review of Collection, Transport, Handling and Analysis of Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Kits and Toxicology Kits in Massachusetts.”  The report highlighted several causes for delays in processing of rape kits, included the lack of a unified tracking system and inefficient transportation of kits to labs. The report issued recommendations, such as using private couriers for transportation, employing new lab technology to decrease testing time, and partnering with rape crisis centers to ensure victim advocates are involved throughout the process.
  • New Jersey : Assembly Bill 1084
  • This bill would require law enforcement agencies to submit rape kits for testing within ten business days. The bill would also require the rape kit be analyzed by the lab within six months of receipt, if sufficient resources are available. The bill gives law enforcement 45 days to inventory the number of backlogged kits and submit those kits to the lab for testing within 180 days. On January 16, 2014, this bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee.
  • New Jersey : Senate Bill 1815
  • New Jersey Senate Bill 1815 requires that law enforcement agencies submit sexual assault evidence to the lab for testing within 10 days of receipt. The lab must then analyze the evidence within six months. The law also requires law enforcement agencies to inventory the number of untested kits in their possession by 45 days after the law goes into effect. The state police must submit a plan for the testing of backlogged kits within 120 days. This plan must be in place within 180 days after the law goes into effect. The bill was introduced on March 24, 2014 and has been referred to the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee. 
  • New York : Bill A5288-2013
  • This New York bill provides for a tax on alcohol and designates that the tax revenue go to the Sexual Assault DNA Registry Trust Fund. The purpose of the Fund is to improve DNA testing, equipment, and training in felony sexual assault cases with the goal of eliminating the backlog. The bill also directs the commissioner to periodically issue reports on the use of funds and create a system for proper storage and maintenance of DNA evidence. This law was introduced on February 22, 2013. 
  • Oklahoma : Senate Bill 2041
  • Oklahoma Senate Bill 2041 requires law enforcement to submit rape kits for testing within 10 days of receipt. Crime labs are required to complete testing within 6 months of receipt.  The Bill also requires law enforcement to inventory backlog kits and provide those numbers to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation by July 1, 2015. Within 180 days, a plan should be put into place for all backlog kits to be sent to the lab for testing. By January 1, 2016, the Bureau shall submit a timeline and requests for funding for testing the backlogged kits. This bill was introduced on February 3, 2014 and has been referred to the Judiciary Committee. 
  • Tennessee : House Bill 1388
  • This bill requires law enforcement to submit rape kits to the crime lab for testing within 10 days of receipt. The crime lab must then test the kits within six months of receipt from law enforcement.  The bill also provides that law enforcement agencies must inventory the number of kits in their possession by July 15, 2015. By January 2016, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation must submit a plan for testing these backlogged kits. This bill was introduced on January 14, 2014. The bill has been referred to committee and is pending further action.
  • Tennessee : Senate Bill 1426
  • Tennessee Senate Bill 1426 requires law enforcement agencies to inventory and submit a report detailing the number of stored, untested kits by July 1, 2014. By September 1, 2014, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is required to submit a report to the legislature detailing the number of untested kits by county.  This bill was passed by the Senate on February 24, 2014 and the House (H.B. 1373) on April 7, 2014. As of April 9, 2014 it has been sent to the Governor and is awaiting signature. 

DNA Victims' Rights and Victim Notification:

  • California : California Bill 1517
    California Bill 1517 amends the “Sexual Assault Victims’ DNA Bill of Rights,” to require law enforcement to submit sexual assault forensic evidence to the crime lab within five days of receipt. The crime lab must test  and enter resulting DNA profiles into CODIS within 30 days. Currently, California law requires that a victim be notified if law enforcement elects not to test DNA within the proscribed time limits only in cases where the identity of the perpetrator is at issue. This bill revises current law to require notification in any case where DNA is not tested, regardless of whether the perpetrator’s identity is at issue. This bill was introduced on January 15, 2014. 
  • Maryland : House Bill 1341
    Maryland House Bill 1341 requires any health care provider who administers a sexual assault kit exam to provide the victim with the law enforcement agency contact for information regarding the status of the kit. The law also requires that a law enforcement agency in receipt of a kit must inform the victim of the status of the kit analysis and results of testing, within 30 days of the victims request. The  law also contains a provision requiring an annual inventory to track the number of untested kits. This bill was introduced on February 7, 2014.
  • Massachusetts : Senate Bill 1900
    The Massachusetts Senate Committee on Post Audit and Oversight released a report entitled “When Time Is of the Essence: A Review of Collection, Transport, Handling and Analysis of Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Kits and Toxicology Kits in Massachusetts.”  The report highlighted several causes for delays in processing of rape kits, included the lack of a unified tracking system and inefficient transportation of kits to labs. The report issued recommendations, such as using private couriers for transportation, employing new lab technology to decrease testing time, and partnering with rape crisis centers to ensure victim advocates are involved throughout the process.

Mandatory Sexual Assault Kit Testing:

  • California : California Bill 1517
  • California Bill 1517 amends the “Sexual Assault Victims’ DNA Bill of Rights,” to require law enforcement to submit sexual assault forensic evidence to the crime lab within five days of receipt. The crime lab must test  and enter resulting DNA profiles into CODIS within 30 days. Currently, California law requires that a victim be notified if law enforcement elects not to test DNA within the proscribed time limits only in cases where the identity of the perpetrator is at issue. This bill revises current law to require notification in any case where DNA is not tested, regardless of whether the perpetrator’s identity is at issue. This bill was introduced on January 15, 2014. 
  • California : Assembly Joint Resolution 45 
  • This resolution urges the United States Congress to approve President Obama’s $35 million grant proposal for states to support processing of DNA evidence and the elimination of the rape kit backlog. The resolution affirms California’s commitment to systematic reform, while recognizing the existing scope of the backlog and its continued effects on victims. This resolution was introduced April 10, 2014.
  • District of Columbia : District of Columbia Bill 417
    D.C. Bill 417 requires all rape kits to be processed by the police department in a timely manner, no longer than 90 days from the date of collection. The bill also provides that hospitals cannot bill a victim for the administration of a rape kit or the kit itself. This bill was introduced on July 10, 2013 and sent to the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety.
  • New Jersey : Assembly Bill 1084
    This bill would require law enforcement agencies to submit rape kits for testing within ten business days. The bill would also require the rape kit be analyzed by the lab within six months of receipt, if sufficient resources are available. The bill gives law enforcement 45 days to inventory the number of backlogged kits and submit those kits to the lab for testing within 180 days. On January 16, 2014, this bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee.
  • New Jersey : NJ A1012 [Died in committee - See New Jersey Assembly Bill 1084]
    New Jersey Assembly Bill 1012 would require law enforcement agencies to submit rape kits for testing within ten business days. The bill would also require the rape kit be analyzed by the lab within six months of receipt, if sufficient resources are available. On January 16, 2014, this bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly State and Local Government Committee.
  • New Jersey : Senate Bill 1815
  • New Jersey Senate Bill 1815 requires that law enforcement agencies submit sexual assault evidence to the lab for testing within 10 days of receipt. The lab must then analyze the evidence within six months. The law also requires law enforcement agencies to inventory the number of untested kits in their possession by 45 days after the law goes into effect. The state police must submit a plan for the testing of backlogged kits within 120 days. This plan must be in place within 180 days after the law goes into effect. The bill was introduced on March 24, 2014 and has been referred to the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee. 
  • Oklahoma : Senate Bill 2041
  • Oklahoma Senate Bill 2041 requires law enforcement to submit rape kits for testing within 10 days of receipt. Crime labs are required to complete testing within 6 months of receipt.  The Bill also requires law enforcement to inventory backlog kits and provide those numbers to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation by July 1, 2015. Within 180 days, a plan should be put into place for all backlog kits to be sent to the lab for testing. By January 1, 2016, the Bureau shall submit a timeline and requests for funding for testing the backlogged kits. This bill was introduced on February 3, 2014 and has been referred to the Judiciary Committee. 
  • Tennessee : House Bill 1388
    This bill requires law enforcement to submit rape kits to the crime lab for testing within 10 days of receipt. The crime lab must then test the kits within six months of receipt from law enforcement.  The bill also provides that law enforcement agencies must inventory the number of kits in their possession by July 15, 2015. By January 2016, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation must submit a plan for testing these backlogged kits. This bill was introduced on January 14, 2014. The bill has been referred to committee and is pending further action.
  • West Virginia : House Bill 2867
    West Virginia's House Bill 2867 provides that sexual assault kits be submitted for testing to the state lab and any results entered into the state database. The bill also requires that any person arrested for certain enumerated offenses must submit a DNA sample upon booking at a jail or detention facility.  The bill was introduced on January 11, 2011 and has been send to the House Judiciary Committee.

Statute of Limitations DNA Exception:

  • Tennessee : House Bill 1985 / Senate Bill 1841
    Tennessee House Bill 1985 / Senate Bill 1841 would extend the statutes of limitations in sexual assault cases where DNA evidence identifies the perpetrator. If DNA evidence implicates an individual, the statute of limitations will continue after the implication of individual for a period of time that is equal to the initial statute of limitations period. This bill was introduced on January 21, 2014 and has been referred to committee. 

Statute of Limitations for Sexual Assault:

  • Illinois : Senate Bill 2609
    Illinois Senate Bill 2609 was introduced on October 23, 2013. The bill amends the law on periods excluded from the statute of limitations (SOL), specifying  that the collection and analysis of sexual assault evidence will not stop the running of the SOL. This bill was passed by the Senate on April 7, 2014 and sent to the House Committee on Rules.
  • Ohio : Senate Bill 83
    Ohio Senate Bill 83 would remove the statute of limitations for the prosecution of rape and sexual battery. Currently, the statute of limitations for these crimes is 20 years. This bill was introduced on March 14, 2013.

Federal Laws

The Debbie Smith DNA Backlog Grant Program (Debbie Smith Act) (42 U.S.C. 14135; Title II of the Justice for All Act) was enacted in 2004, reauthorized in 2008, and amended by the Violence Against Women Act in 2013. The Act provides federal funding for state and local governments to address the backlog of DNA evidence at crime laboratories. The grants are intended to be used to analyze backlogged DNA crime scene samples, including rape kits, and offender DNA samples for inclusion in CODIS (the Combined DNA Index System).  The funds are also used to ensure timely processing of new evidence by increasing the capacity of labs to process more DNA samples. The Act requires governments that receive grants to create plans for the reduction of the backlog and meet privacy requirements for processing the kits. The Debbie Smith Act also supports both the SAFER Act (PL 113-4) and the Katie Sepich Enhanced DNA Collection Act (PL 112-253).

  • SAFER: Ensures that at least 75 percent of DNA funding goes towards analyzing untested crime scene DNA evidence or increasing lab capacity. Allows funds to be used conduct one-time audits of sexual assault evidence in law enforcement custody. Establishes audits and reporting to bring transparency and efficiency to the testing process.

  • Katie Sepich Act: Provides additional, one-time funding to states facing increased forensic DNA program costs due to expanded state laws for offender DNA collections.

The Act, which is up for reauthorization in 2014, is currently authorized at $151 million a year.  


 The Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence Reporting Act of 2013 (SAFER Act) became law on March 7, 2013 as Title X of the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) (113 P.L. 4).  The SAFER Act aims to reduce the sexual assault kit backlog through a variety of funding streams and reporting mechanisms.  Specifically, the SAFER Act amended the Debbie Smith Act (42 U.S.C. 14135) to create grants to audit the sexual assault kit backlog, providing that between 5%-7% of funding authorized under the Debbie Smith Act be allocated for audits of the sexual assault kit backlog. 

The SAFER Act also requires that no less than 75% of the funding allocated under the SAFER Act must be directed at reducing the sexual assault kit backlog and increasing the capacity of labs processing sexual assault kits through 2018.  Additionally, the Act authorizes the provision of technical assistance to states in the area of sexual assault kit backlogs, and requires that protocols for processing of the kits be established within 18 months of the law becoming effective.

The SAFER Act requires reports from the Attorney General of the United States to Congress concerning Debbie Smith grants made.  The reports are to include information on where the grants are awarded and summarizing the numbers of kits tested as well as the number remaining untested.  Finally, the Act applies the VAWA accountability provisions to the SAFER grants, and repeals the Debbie Smith Act audit grants effective 2018.


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