Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy introduced legislation requiring that all law enforcement agencies and healthcare providers participate in a statewide sexual assault examination kit tracking program.
Current regulations require law enforcement agencies to submit sexual assault exam kits to the laboratory within 30 days, but there is no corresponding requirement for healthcare providers to notify law enforcement of kit completion. It is a gap in the chain of accountability.
The proposed legislation addresses the accountability gap by mandating that healthcare providers inform law enforcement of a completed sexual assault kit within seven days of collection. The additional requirement expedites examinations, and creates an accountability timeline, the Governor’s Office said.
HB 275 and SB 193 propose that the timeline for updating and notifying victims on their examination be within 14 days of kit testing, is in line with recommendations from the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative working group, and other reform-minded groups.
“Public safety is my top priority and ensuring the swift and transparent tracking of sexual assault examination kits is essential for both accountability and the well-being of survivors,” Dunleavy said. “This legislation addresses identified gaps in the existing system.”
That system includes one already initiated by the Dunleavy Administration. The Department of Public Safety now has a web-based Sexual Assault Examination Kit Tracking System. The system provides survivors with a method to check the status of their kit without having to call or email the investigating law enforcement officer.