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Moving Forward While Looking Back: Understanding the Influence of a “Test All” SAK Mandate on Sexual Assault Case Attrition

NCJ Number
Criminal Justice Policy Review Volume: Online Dated: 2024
Date Published

This report examines the impacts of a “test all” policy in one jurisdiction and whether the increased number of DNA matches that were expected to result in the greater amount of testing, increased the likelihood of arrest; the document discusses the research study results, as well as its implications f or sexual assault investigations and future research.


The discovery of thousands of untested sexual assault kits (SAKs) in police jurisdictions across the United States has prompted federal, state, and local agencies to enact policies regarding SAK testing. One legislative response has been to implement “test all” SAK policies. Such policies are expected to remove discretion from the kit submission process and provide crucial forensic evidence needed to guide sexual assault investigations. This study presents the impact of a “test all” policy in a single jurisdiction and investigates whether the increased number of DNA matches expected to come from more testing after implementation increased the likelihood of arrest. Results indicate that the impact of a DNA match on arrest increased after the mandate. The study concludes with a discussion of implications for sexual assault investigations and recommendations for future research. (Published Abstract Provided)

Date Published: January 1, 2024