Report 2014-109 All Recommendation Responses

Report 2014-109: Sexual Assault Evidence Kits: Although Testing All Kits Could Benefit Sexual Assault Investigations, the Extent of the Benefits Is Unknown (Release Date: October 2014)

Recommendation #1 To: Oakland Police Department

To ensure that sexual assault evidence kits are not overlooked and the reason why they are not sent for analysis is clear, by December 1, 2014, the Oakland Police Department should adopt a policy that requires investigators to document the reason they do not submit a request for sexual assault evidence kit analysis to a crime lab.

60-Day Agency Response

OPD has implemented policy requiring investigators to document the reason they do not submit a request for a sexual assault evidence kit analysis. All relevant personnel have been trained in the aforementioned policy as codified in OPD Training Bulletins IV-C and IV-E.

  • Completion Date: September 2014
  • Response Date: December 2014

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #2 To: San Diego Police Department

To ensure that sexual assault evidence kits are not overlooked and the reason why they are not sent for analysis is clear, by December 1, 2014, the San Diego Police Department should adopt a policy that requires investigators to document the reason they do not submit a request for sexual assault evidence kit analysis to a crime lab.

60-Day Agency Response

All personnel assigned to the Sex Crimes Unit shall document when the decision is made to NOT submit a SART Kit for analysis by our Crime Lab or any Crime Lab. Utilizing the FileOnQ system, the assigned investigator shall notate when such a decision is made, selecting one of the following options; non investigative report, Out of Jurisdiction, recant, unfounded, VDP (victim declines prosecution)unless there is a likelihood the potential evidence is related to another investigation, and other (must indicate reason in notes).

  • Completion Date: September 2014
  • Response Date: November 2014

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #3 To: Oakland Police Department

To ensure that it maximizes the amount of time available for prosecuting sexual offenses, by December 1, 2014, the Oakland Police Department should formalize in a policy document its new practice of analyzing sexual assault evidence kits within two weeks of the department receiving the kits into evidence, and it should continue to implement that policy.

60-Day Agency Response

OPD has formalized its policy of analyzing sexual assault evidence kits within two weeks of the department receiving the kits into evidence as codified in the Oakland Police Department Criminalistics Laboratory Operations and Quality Assurance Manual.

  • Completion Date: August 2014
  • Response Date: December 2014

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #4 To: Justice, Department of

To report to the Legislature about the effectiveness of its RADS program and to better inform decisions about expanding the number of analyzed sexual assault evidence kits, Justice should amend its agreements with the counties participating in the RADS program to require those counties to report case outcome information, such as arrests and convictions for the sexual assault evidence kits Justice has analyzed under the program. Justice should then report annually to the Legislature about those case outcomes.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From November 2017

The RADS program has been expanded to 38 counties. Since January 2017, all SAE kits collected under RADS have been entered into SAFE-T.

The RADS MOUs provides that the Law Enforcement Agency will; provide a case number to the SART examiner for all RADS cases, take all reasonable steps to follow up on leads resulting from a CODIS hit, present the case, in a timely manner, to the District Attorney for filing consideration, if applicable, obtain reference samples from suspects for comparison, if applicable, obtain reference samples from consensual partners for elimination purposes, if applicable, enter case information in to CODIS Hit Outcome Project (CHOP) and Sexual Assault, and Forensic Evidence Tracking (SAFE-T) applications.

While the passage of AB 41 now mandates law enforcement to update the SAFE-T database, the LEAs still do not consistently enter the case information into CHOP because it is not legally mandated.

  • Completion Date: January 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Partially Implemented

Justice's most recent report to the Legislature does not contain information related to the case outcomes for cases in which a sexual assault evidence kit was processed through the RADS program. In that report to the Legislature, Justice asserts that despite amending its MOUs with RADS participants to require the participants to report case outcome information, without a statutory mandate for these participants to report, Justice will not obtain the outcome information from them. Because Justice is not reporting case outcome information related to RADS program cases, we continue to assess this recommendation as partially implemented.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation
  • Auditee did not address all aspects of the recommendation

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2016

Justice has amended MOU agreements with the counties participating in the RADS program to require those counties to report the number of victim sexual assault kits collected and track the adjudication results for each case.

Justice annually reports to the Legislature data from the participating RADS counties showing the effectiveness of the RADS program. When sexual assault evidence is submitted to Justice as a RADS kit, the kit is reliably recorded in SAFE-T and CHOP by Justice, however in non-participating RADS counties, Justice relies on local law enforcement agencies to provide the case statistics. For those counties that are not participating in the RADS program, Justice is unable to mandate case outcome data for their sexual assault evidence kits.

Assembly Bill 1499, mandating rape kit tracking through the Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence Tracking Database (SAFE-T), and Senate Bill 1079, mandating the use of the CODIS Hit Outcome Project database (CHOP) where law enforcement agencies can report case outcome such as arrests and convictions on sexual assault kits, did not pass in the Legislature. Despite the legislative defeat, the SAFE-T and CHOP databases have been fully implemented by Justice and are available in all Justice service areas. Unfortunately since the use of SAFE-T and CHOP database is not statutorily mandated, the tracking and numbers may not include statistical data from the non-participating RADS counties.

  • Completion Date: January 2016

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Partially Implemented

Justice's most recent report to the Legislature does not include information that is necessary to determine the effectiveness of the RADS program. Specifically, it does not contain any information about the number of RADS cases, the results of the DNA testing done in those cases, or the outcomes of the associated sexual assault investigations. Also, it does not contain information about whether the outcome of the RADS analysis was the key evidence that furthered an investigation or prosecution. Such information is necessary to knowing how often investigations are assisted by the RADS program and therefore whether RADS is an effective program. As these elements are missing from Justice's report, we continue to assess this recommendation as partially implemented.

  • Auditee did not address all aspects of the recommendation

1-Year Agency Response

Justice has amended its memorandum of understanding (MOU) agreements with counties participating in the RADS program. The amendment will require the counties to use CODIS Hit Outcome Program (CHOP) database in order to report case outcome information such as arrests and convictions for probative RADS kits as a way of tracking progress in cases. The amended MOU agreements were signed by the counties and they have agreed to use CHOP to track adjudication of cases. Justice will submit an annual report, beginning in October 2015, to the Legislature on case outcome information for those counties participating in the RADS program.

Additionally, BFS created a new database called Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence Tracking (SAFE-T) for tracking all sexual assault kits including RADS kits. SAFE-T has been fully implemented but there is no mandate to use the database which is linked to CHOP.

  • Completion Date: October 2015
  • Response Date: October 2015

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Partially Implemented

Justice's report to the Legislature contains information about the status of cases in which Justice analyzed a sexual assault evidence kit through its RADS program and the kit contained DNA that resulted in a CODIS hit. However, the report does not contain information about the total number of sexual assault evidence kits that Justice has analyzed through the RADS program to provide context on the percentage of RADS kits that result in a CODIS hit. Also, for the case outcomes that Justice describes in the report, it does not present information about whether the analysis of the sexual assault evidence kit(s) for that case was the determining factor in whether the law enforcement agency in question was able to achieve a particular case outcome. This is information that would be available to Justice through the local law enforcement agencies that participate in the RADS program if Justice further amends its MOUs. As such, the report does not allow the Legislature to assess the effectiveness of the RADS program. We continue to assess this recommendation as partially implemented.

  • Auditee did not address all aspects of the recommendation

6-Month Agency Response

Justice has amended its memorandum of understanding (MOU) agreements with counties participating in the RADS program. The amendment will require the counties to use CODIS Hit Outcome Program (CHOP) database in order to report case outcome information such as arrests and convictions for the sexual assault evidence kits Justice has analyzed under the RADS program as a way of tracking progress in cases. The amended MOU agreements were sent to the counties and they have agreed to use CHOP to track adjudication of cases. Justice will submit a report annually in October 2015 to the Legislature for those counties participating in the RADS program.

  • Estimated Completion Date: October 9, 2015
  • Response Date: April 2015

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Partially Implemented


60-Day Agency Response

Justice has amended its memorandum of understanding (MOU) agreement template for counties participating in the RADS program. The amendment will require the counties to use CODIS Hit Outcome Program (CHOP) database, in order to report case outcome information such as arrests and convictions for the sexual assault evidence kits Justice has analyzed under the RADS program, as a way of tracking progress in cases. Justice is pursuing system enhancements to the CHOP database to add additional fields to track the adjudication of a case. These enhancements have an anticipated completion date of April 1, 2015. The amended MOU will be sent to the counties for execution approximately one month prior to the completion of the modifications to the CHOP database. Justice will submit a report to the Legislature in October 2015, and annually thereafter, for those counties participating in the RADS program.

  • Estimated Completion Date: October 9, 2015
  • Response Date: December 2014

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending


Recommendation for Legislative Action

To establish more comprehensive information about sexual assault evidence kits, specifically the number of kits collected and the number of kits analyzed across the State, the Legislature should direct law enforcement agencies to report to Justice annually how many sexual assault evidence kits they collect and how many kits they analyze each year. The Legislature should also require an annual report from Justice that details this information.

Description of Legislative Action

Assembly Bill 909 would have required a law enforcement agency responsible for taking or processing rape kit evidence to annually report, by July 1 of each year, to the Department of Justice information pertaining to the processing of rape kits, including the number of rape kits the law enforcement agency collects, the number of those rape kits that are tested, and the number of those rape kits that are not tested. For those rape kits that are not tested, the bill would have required the law enforcement agency to also report the reason the rape kit was not tested. This bill died in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

  • Legislative Action Current As-of: October 2016

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Legislation Proposed But Not Enacted


Description of Legislative Action

Assembly Bill 909 would have required a law enforcement agency responsible for taking or processing rape kit evidence to annually report, by July 1 of each year, to the Department of Justice information pertaining to the processing of rape kits, including the number of rape kits the law enforcement agency collects, the number of those rape kits that are tested, and the number of those rape kits that are not tested. For those rape kits that are not tested, the bill would have required the law enforcement agency to also report the reason the rape kit was not tested. This bill died in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

  • Legislative Action Current As-of: October 2016

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Legislation Proposed But Not Enacted


Description of Legislative Action

AB 909 would have required a law enforcement agency responsible for taking or processing rape kit evidence to annually report, by July 1 of each year, to the Department of Justice information pertaining to the processing of rape kits, including the number of rape kits the law enforcement agency collects, the number of those rape kits that are tested, and the number of those rape kits that are not tested. For those rape kits that are not tested, the bill would have required the law enforcement agency to also report the reason the rape kit was not tested.

  • Legislative Action Current As-of: March 2016

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Legislation Proposed But Not Enacted


Description of Legislative Action

Legislation has not been introduced to address this specific recommendation

  • Legislative Action Current As-of: February 2015

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: No Action Taken


Recommendation for Legislative Action

To provide the Legislature and the public with more complete information about agency decisions not to analyze sexual assault evidence kits, the Legislature should direct agencies to report annually to Justice their reasons for not analyzing sexual assault evidence kits. The Legislature should require an annual report from Justice that details this information.

Description of Legislative Action

Assembly Bill 909 would have required a law enforcement agency responsible for taking or processing rape kit evidence to annually report, by July 1 of each year, to the Department of Justice information pertaining to the processing of rape kits, including the number of rape kits the law enforcement agency collects, the number of those rape kits that are tested, and the number of those rape kits that are not tested. For those rape kits that are not tested, the bill would have required the law enforcement agency to also report the reason the rape kit was not tested. This bill died in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

  • Legislative Action Current As-of: October 2016

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Legislation Proposed But Not Enacted


Description of Legislative Action

Legislation has not been introduced to address this specific recommendation. However, AB 1848 was introduced on February 9, 2016, to serve as a placeholder for changes to the Sexual Assault Victims DNA Bill of Rights. The bill did not pass.

  • Legislative Action Current As-of: March 2016

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Legislation Proposed But Not Enacted


Description of Legislative Action

Legislation has not been introduced to address this specific recommendation

  • Legislative Action Current As-of: February 2015

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: No Action Taken


Recommendation for Legislative Action

To ensure that agencies preserve the option to extend the statute of limitations in unknown assailant cases, the Legislature should require law enforcement agencies to submit sexual assault evidence kits to a crime lab for analysis in all cases where the identity of the assailant is unknown, and it should require the labs to complete analysis of those sexual assault evidence kits within two years of the date of the associated offense. The Legislature should exempt from this requirement all cases where victims specifically request that law enforcement not analyze their kit, as well as cases where investigators determine that no crime occurred.

Description of Legislative Action

Assembly Bill 1848 (2016) would have required law enforcement agencies to report specified information regarding rape kit evidence to the Department of Justice through a database established by the department. The bill would have additionally required a public DNA laboratory, or a law enforcement agency contracting with a private laboratory, to provide a reason for not testing a sample every 120 days the sample is untested, except as specified. Finally, this bill would have required the department to file a report to the Legislature on an annual basis summarizing the information in its database, and would prohibit law enforcement agencies or laboratories from being compelled to provide any contents of the database in a civil or criminal case, except as required by a law enforcement agency's duty to produce exculpatory evidence to a defendant in a criminal case. This bill died in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

  • Legislative Action Current As-of: October 2016

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Legislation Proposed But Not Enacted


Description of Legislative Action

Legislation has not been introduced to address this specific recommendation. However, AB 1848 was introduced on February 9, 2016, to serve as a placeholder for changes to the Sexual Assault Victims DNA Bill of Rights. The bill did not pass.

  • Legislative Action Current As-of: March 2016

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Legislation Proposed But Not Enacted


Description of Legislative Action

Legislation has not been introduced to address this specific recommendation

  • Legislative Action Current As-of: February 2015

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: No Action Taken


All Recommendations in 2014-109

Agency responses received are posted verbatim.


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