Montana Department of Justice

Rape and Toxicology Kits

Photo of Open Rape Exam KitThe Montana rape kit contains the instructions and materials required to conduct a rape exam. The rape kit focuses mainly on evidence collection and is used to collect forensic evidence that will be sent to the state crime lab for analysis.

The rape kit was designed by the state crime lab. The kit is tailored to the lab’s analysis procedures and the instructions incorporate Montana laws. A standardized, statewide kit helps make the work in the lab more efficient. It also makes it easier to train healthcare professionals who use the kit and allows statewide training programs such as this online training.

Rape Kit Changes

The crime lab modified the rape kit in spring 2006 and the new kit is available free of charge from the Office of Victim Services. The biggest change was that all liquid blood specimens were eliminated, so that:

  • Completed kits no longer have to be refrigerated as long as all items are properly air-dried.
  • The known DNA standard is collected exclusively as a buccal swab and not liquid blood.
  • A separate kit is required for toxicology samples. Toxicology samples are collected if the victim’s blood and urine need to be tested for drugs and alcohol.

Order Kits

Since the redesign of the rape kit in 2006, two kits may be necessary to perform a rape exam —a rape kit and a toxicology kit— so healthcare facilities should have both kits on hand. A toxicology kit may not always be needed, depending on whether the patient’s blood and urine need to be tested for drugs and alcohol. Each kit has a shelf life and an expiration date printed on the side of the box.

Rape kits are available free of charge from the Forensic Rape Examination Payment Program. Their shelf life is approximately five years.

Toxicology kits are available free of charge from the state crime lab. The best way to order is to call (406) 728-4970 or e-mail pkinsey@mt.gov. Please limit orders to no more than six kits. They will usually ship in one or two days. The approximate shelf life for toxicology kits is nine to 18 months.

Rape Exam Payment

Rape victims are not required to report the crime to law enforcement. The medical expenses incurred for a rape examination are paid by one of two sources, depending on the victim’s decision whether or not to report the crime.

Healthcare professionals caring for rape victims should inform patients that, in most cases, they will not have to pay for the rape exam themselves. Healthcare providers should ask the victim if he or she wishes to report the crime to law enforcement so the correct agency can be billed.

  • If the victim chooses to report the crime to law enforcement, the local law enforcement agency in charge of investigating the crime must pay for the rape examination.
  • If the victim chooses not to report the crime immediately, the Forensic Rape Examination Payment Program (FREPP), available through the Office of Victim Services, can pay for the exam.

The healthcare facility billing departments should make every effort to work with local law enforcement agencies and FREPP to exhaust all avenues of payment before billing the patient for any part of an exam.

Victims Who Report the Crime

If the victim chooses to report the crime to law enforcement, the rape examination must be paid by the local law enforcement agency in charge of investigating the crime. Even if an offender is not identified or prosecuted, the law enforcement agency is responsible for paying the medical facility in which the examination was performed (MCA 46-15-411).

The law enforcement agency is not responsible for paying for the examination if the crime is not reported.

Victims who report the crime to law enforcement may be eligible for compensation benefits. The Crime Victim Compensation provides assistance to rape victims who need mental health counseling and medical expenses for any related physical injuries. However, to be eligible, the victim must report the crime to law enforcement within 72 hours of the crime and meet other eligibility requirements. If the victim does not report the crime within 72 hours, compensation benefits may not be awarded unless the victim can show good cause to extend the time limit.

Victims Who Do Not Report the Crime

If the victim chooses not to report the crime to law enforcement, the FREPP can pay for the rape exam. However, FREPP does not pay for mental health counseling or any other medical charges incurred as a result of the rape.

The healthcare provider should advise the victim that the evidence collected will be held for 60 days should he or she later decide to report the crime.

The medical facility should submit its charges for the rape exam to FREPP for payment.

Expired Kits

Rape kits and toxicology kits come with expiration dates. There are two items in the kits that deteriorate over time:

  • blood tubes – the preservative goes bad
  • sterile cotton swabs – sterility is compromised

It is highly recommended that healthcare facilities switch to the new Montana rape kits, and have a supply of toxicology kits on hand, since the blood tubes have been removed from the rape kits.

Should the need arise, it is still possible to use an expired, pre-April 2006 kit by replacing the blood tubes and sterile cotton swabs with equivalent items from hospital stock, and noting that this has been done. The remainder of the kit can then be used.

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Attorney General's Office & Legal Services Division

The Attorney General’s Office, headed by Attorney General Tim Fox, and the Legal Services Division function as the lawyers for the State of Montana. The attorneys in the Office have expertise in a wide range of legal topics and handle a broad range of legal cases involving the State of Montana and its people.

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Children’s Justice Bureau

The Children’s Justice Bureau is an agency-wide initiative at the Montana Department of Justice dedicated to IMPROVING how we respond to child victims, DEVELOPING state-of-the-art approaches by keeping up with the newest research and, most importantly, HELPING child victims recover and move on with their lives.

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Forensic Science Division & State Crime Lab

The mission of the Montana Forensic Science Division is to use operationally efficient and financially responsible practices as the laboratory provides accurate, objective, and timely forensic analyses to the criminal justice community in order to maximize value to the citizens of Montana.

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Missing Persons Clearinghouse

The Missing Children Act of 1985 established a Montana Missing Persons Clearinghouse within the Department of Justice. In March 2008, the department implemented a searchable online database that, for the first time, is updated in real time and includes any photos provided by law enforcement.

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Office of Victim Services

The goal of the Office of Victim Services is to provide tools and information to help crime victims recover from their experience and provide them with a range of services available. The criminal justice system can be confusing and intimidating for victims. To assist them as they go through the justice system, the Office of Victim Service is available to answer any questions they may have.

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Central Services Division

The Montana Department of Justice’s Central Services Division provides financial and human resources support for the department. We make sure that everything works for the people Working for Justice. If you’re interested in a rewarding career helping protect the rights and safety of all Montanans, we invite you to join our team of over 800 dedicated employees working across the state.

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Justice Information Technology Services Division

Our Justice Information Technology Services Division (JITSD) provides vital Information Technology (IT) infrastructure upon which Montanans and lojitsdcal and state law enforcement agencies rely for timely, accurate information. JITSD manages the IT systems, services, and interfaces to support nearly 800 DOJ employees, 325 statewide county motor vehicle system users, and over 3,000 Criminal Justice Information Network (CJIN) users across the state.

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Division of Criminal Investigation

The Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) at the Montana Department of Justice is involved in many aspects of Montana law enforcement and is integral to the Department dciof Justice’s mission of promoting public safety.

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Montana Highway Patrol

Montana is rich in natural beauty and history. From Glacier Park in the west to Makoshika Park in the east, the men and women of the Montana Highway Patrol are working hard to make your travels safe and enjoyable. The Highway Patrol’s core values are “Service, Integrity and Respect.” These values are reflected in our commitment to public safety through diligent and fair enforcement of our traffic codes.

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Montana Law Enforcement Academy

The Montana Law Enforcement Academy is the premier law enforcement and public safety educational and training institution for state, county, city and tribal officers throughout the state. The Academy offers entry-level programs referred to as Basic Programs and advanced training through an array of Professional Development Programs.

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Public Safety Officer Standards & Training

The Council was formed in 2007 under 2-15-2029, MCA as an independent Quasi-judicial board. And as allowed by statute the Council adopted Administrative Rules in order to implement the provisions of Title 44, chapter 4, part 4, MCA. Per 44-4-403, MCA the Council is required to set employment and training standards for all Public Safety Officers as defined in 44-4-401, MCA and in addition the Council shall provide for the certification or recertification of public safety officers and for the suspension or revocation of certification of public safety officers.

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Gambling Control Division

Through the Gambling Control Division, the Department of Justice regulates all forms of gambling in Montana, except for the Montana Lottery and horse racing. The legislature has charged the division with maintaining a uniform regulatory climate that is fair and free of corrupt influences. The division is also responsible for collecting gambling revenue for state and local governments.

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Motor Vehicle Division

The mission of the Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) is to identify and promote efficient, cost-effective programs that benefit the interests, safety, and well-being of Montana citizens through licensing, registering, and regulating the motoring activities of the public. The MVD continuously strives for excellence in customer service. Streamlining the way we do business has allowed us to improve our efficiency and make our services more convenient for our customers.

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Natural Resource Damage Program

The Natural Resource Damage Program (NRDP) was created in 1990 to prepare the state’s lawsuit against the Atlantic Richfield Co. (ARCO) for injuries to the natural resources in the Upper Clark Fork River Basin (UCFRB). Decades of mining and mineral processing operations in and around Butte and Anaconda released substantial quantities of hazardous substances into the Upper Clark Fork River Basin between Butte and Milltown. These hazardous substances extensively degraded the area’s natural resources.

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Office of Consumer Protection

Enforce consumer laws designed to protect the consumer from unfair or deceptive business practices. Enforce statutes relating to telephone solicitation and telemarketing. Provide information to consumers about the Consumer Protection Act. Assist consumers by distributing consumer education materials including scam and consumer alerts. Investigate false, misleading, or deceptive trade practices.

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Human Trafficking

The Montana Department of Justice has a continued commitment to victims of human trafficking. In partnership with federal authorities, our agency plays a key role in the investigation, enforcement, and prosecution of crimes related to human trafficking in Montana. This form of modern day slavery does happen here in Big Sky Country.

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Safe in Your Space

When it comes to embracing new technology, kids have rapidly outpaced their parents and teachers. By their early school years, many children are already more comfortable on the Internet than their parents. But just because children are smart enough to know how to navigate the Internet, doesn’t mean they have the experience to make good decisions about some of the possibilities they may face online.

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Prescription Drug Abuse Awareness Program

Montana’s deadliest drugs aren’t made in secret labs and they don’t always come from dealers on the corner. They’re in our own medicine cabinets. Each year, prescription drug abuse contributes to the deaths of more than 300 Montanans — making prescription drug abuse 15 times more deadly than meth, heroin and cocaine combined. Our kids report the third-highest rate of prescription drug abuse in the country and more than half of them say prescription drugs are easier to get than street drugs.

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Montana Sexual or Violent Offender Registry

Created by the Montana Department of Justice in 1989, the Sexual or Violent Offender Registry is a valuable resource for Montanans to protect their families against sexual or violent offenders.

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Montana 24/7 Sobriety Program

Drinking and driving has been a chronic – and deadly — problem on Montana’s roadways for decades. In 2008, Montana was ranked as the deadliest state in the nation when it came to per capita DUI-related traffic fatalities.

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Work for Justice

Everyday at The Montana Department of Justice, our employees are dedicated to ensuring the well-being and rights of the people of our great state. We’re passionate about what we do because it’s more than a job or a career. It’s about who we are as people. If this sounds like you, your unique experiences, knowledge, and values may be just what the Montana Department of Justice is looking for and needs. In return we can offer a culture that promotes fairness and growth opportunities.

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