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  • NJ A894
  • Imposes time constraints on submission and analysis of rape kits.
In Committee
Crossed OverPassedSignedDead/Failed/Vetoed
2016-2017 Regular Session
This bill, to be known as the "Sexual Assault Evidence Submission Act," would require municipal, county, State and federal law enforcement agencies to submit to the appropriate forensic laboratory evidence collected in the investigation of a sexual assault case within 10 business days. The bill requires this evidence, often referred to as a "rape kit," to be analyzed by the lab within six months of when it is received if sufficient staffing and resources are available. Under the bill, law enforcement agencies have 45 days to provide to the Superintendent of State Police, in writing, the number of sexual assault cases in the agency's custody that have not been previously submitted to a laboratory for analysis. The superintendent and the agency then have 180 days to make appropriate arrangements to ensure the submission of this evidence. Within 120 days of the effective date of this act, the superintendent is required to submit to the Governor, Attorney General, President of the Senate, and Speaker of the General Assembly a plan for analyzing these submitted cases. The plan is to include a timeline for completing the analysis of the rape kits and a summary of the inventory received, as well as requests for funding and resources necessary to meet the established timeline. A rape kit submitted for analysis as required under the bill must include a signed certification as follows: "This evidence is being submitted by (name of investigating law enforcement agency) in connection with a prior or current criminal investigation." Guidelines issued by the Attorney General currently govern the handling of rape kits in this State. Under these guidelines, rape kit evidence is held for 90 days within which a victim can decide whether to release the evidence to law enforcement. The victim is informed of the county policy regarding time frames for the storage and possible destruction of evidence.
Introduced, Referred to Assembly Judiciary Committee  (on 1/27/2016)
Date Chamber Action Description
1/27/2016 A Introduced, Referred to Assembly Judiciary Committee
Date Motion Yea Nay Other
None specified