Allay Rape Kit Tracking System and Service.
Interaction Design / UX & UI / Strategy / Design Research / Service Design
MFA Products of Design
School of Visual Arts, 2019
Allay is a digital service that makes it easier to track, scan and test rape kits.
Allay is a Rape Kit Tracking App and Service. It allows police, nurses, victims, lab techs and lawyers, to track the kits each step of the way as they are passed through the system. It does so with a software that is installed in each organization’s preferred devices (iPads, computers, phones) and that is designed to easily scan the rape kit’s QR code. Through the digital system, any pre-approved user on the case can track where the rape kit is at any time.
There are over 400,000 untested rape kits in the United States. It is up to the police, each jurisdiction and each state whether to test them, and there is no one way to track, scan or test kits. While some states are initiating tracking systems, they don’t always include all of the individuals and organizations involved or include scanning. There are three main issues as to why the police don’t test the kits: 1) It takes a great deal of time, effort and budget to track, test and catalog each kit, 2) The kit travels quite a bit and requires coordination between each location and user (it typically goes from police to hospital to police to the lab and back to police), 3) The police are often less willing or incentivized to test the kits due to long-term police bias and lack of training.
Make tracking rape kits and the information around them more seamless and accessible for police, nurses, victims, lab techs and lawyers. Could tracking and scanning rape kits in one digital service lead to more accountability towards the rape kit backlog?
Various police officers, nurses, and lab technicians were interviewed to better understand the process the kit goes through from start to finish. Various prototypes were designed and shared with the police officers, nurses and lab techs for feedback.
The police described the many different steps that they have to go through in cataloging and recording the information from the kit but also the chain of evidence. While there are some digital recordings, some are still done on paper and there isn’t one central place where all the nurse, police and lab techs can share information about the kit and case, or see when it is headed their way next.
Forensic lab specialists discussed how they are the only ones that record the tested information into the case or system. There is no transparent or easily accessible way for others to see this information or for the lab technicians to inquire about the case or evidence if they need to.
A DIGITAL SERVICE
A service that scans, tracks and tests rape kits. It is a system that is sold along with the rape kits and is accessible to each individual that interacts with the kits. The goal is to hold parties more accountable each step of the way, and to create more transparency throughout the process. It helps solve for three problem areas around the way with which police interact with the kits: 1) It saves time that police take going back and forth with the rape kit and waiting at the hospital for the kit to be complete, 2) Having the information in one digital platform allows for more seamless coordination between police, nurses, lab techs, lawyers and the victim, and 3) It encourages police to test the kits as they are more visibly accountable for them each step of the way.
One of the most important components of Allay is its ability to add information. Right now, there is no easy way for anyone outside of the police to add information to the case. Allay allows each user to add important information to the case and is aggregated in one central case file.