Sexual Assault Evidence Kit Report Released
Attorney General Doug Chin announced that the Department of the Attorney General provided a report to the State Legislature on Thursday, Dec. 1, that includes a statewide inventory of sexual assault evidence collection kits and a state plan for how to move forward with untested kits.
Act 207 (H.B. 1907) required the Department of the Attorney General to involve community stakeholders in drafting the report, including representatives from each county.
The Hawai‘i, Honolulu, Maui and Kaua‘i Police Departments that are charged with the maintenance, storage and preservation of the kits and other community stakeholders worked with the Department of the Attorney General to produce the report.
Attorney General Chin said, “This report is the product of a great deal of hard work and coordination between the county police departments, county prosecutors, sexual assault treatment providers and the Department of the Attorney General, among others. I want to thank everyone involved and I also want to thank the Legislature for working with us to make sure this information is available to the public.”
The report provides updates on untested kits from each county, information relating to crime lab DNA testing capacity and related issues, plans for outreach to the public, explanations as to when and why sexual assault kits are tested and recommendations for legislative action.
In addition to the information provided in the report, the Act 207 working group also developed Malāma Kākou Project, a state plan to:
- Test untested sexual assault kits and new sexual assault kits;
- Identify the criteria for testing and not testing sexual assault kits and the order of testing;
- Provide active outreach and public notification to ensure that information and services are provided to impacted survivors; and
- Establish a tracking system for sexual assault kits.
- The report is attached to this news release, but a summary of the inventory of sexual assault kits is as follows:
Hawai‘i Police Department
Total No. of Kits = 353
Total No. of Kits Tested = 63
Total No. of Untested Kits = 290
Honolulu Police Department
Total No. of Kits = 1512
Total No. of Kits Tested = 137
Total No. of Untested Kits = 1375
Kaua‘i Police Department
Total No. of Kits = 209
Total No. of Kits Tested = 74
Total No. of Untested Kits = 135
Maui Police Department
Total No. of Kits = 166
Total No. of Kits Tested =15
Total No. of Untested Kits = 151
“We will be using this information to better understand the issues that resulted in some kits being untested, and to ensure that all kits that should be tested are tested,” said Attorney General Chin.
The Department of the Attorney General previously announced that it was awarded a competitive grant, which should further assist with the efforts to track sexual assault kits. The $2 million National Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) grant was awarded to the Department of the Attorney General by the United States Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance.
The report is available online.