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The Cost of Not Testing SAFE Kits: An Economic Harm Study

Senate Bill 63, known as the SAFE Act, passed by the General Assembly and signed into law in 2016, charges the Sexual Assault Response Team Advisory Committee (SART-AC) with the following:

"By January 1, 2018, report to the General Assembly on the results of the analysis of previously untested sexual assault examination kits submitted to the Department of Kentucky State Police forensic laboratory … including whether analysis of those kits led to the identification and prosecution of suspects and the cost to society of the offenses committed by the suspects identified."

The Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Programs (KASAP) advocated for the inclusion of the mandate based on a recommendation in the 2015 state Auditor’s special report on untested sexual assault kits in Kentucky, as a way to demonstrate the need for sustained, adequate funding for the Forensic Laboratory. It was anticipated that such a study would demonstrate that the cost of crimes committed by these sexual assault perpetrators is far greater than the cost of providing sufficient annual funding to the Forensic Laboratory and ensuring offenders are caught and prosecuted in a timely manner.

The final report, which was submitted to the General Assembly, can be read here.