Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $1,971,259)
Primary activities - The Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP) is requesting 2021 SAKI grant funds to improve victim services as well as increase productivity. Secondary evidence testing initiated under the 2019 SAKI grant is still in progress. As testing is completed, DESPP, through subawards to the Alliance and Department of Criminal Justice Office of Chief State Attorney (DCJ OCSA), will continue Connecticut’s established victim-centered policies. The Alliance will continue to facilitate communication between the working group and stakeholders, coordinate victim notification and feedback, provide training on victim notification guidelines, and develop statewide guidelines for victims who wish to have their anonymous kits tested. Similarly, a DCJ OCSA analyst will oversee investigations, conduct prosecution outreach, make presentations to state stakeholders, and enter eligible cases into ViCAP. The 2021 SAKI project funding is essential in order for DESPP to continue to uphold its legal obligation under Connecticut Public Act 15-207. This legislation requires that the Division of Scientific Services (DSS) test all Sexual Assault Kits (SAKs) within 60 days of collection. By acquiring STACS Casework and Track-Kit software, DESPP will be able to streamline SAK and secondary sexual assault evidence tracking and case management while simultaneously providing real-time case status and testing results to law enforcement agencies, prosecutors and most importantly, sexual assault survivors.
Products and deliverables - We will use the comprehensive BJA model to implement a holistic victim-centered and trauma-informed approach to the issues associated with sexual assault investigation in Connecticut. All data, performance metrics, and research will be presented to the already established Sexual Assault Kit Initiative Working Group (SAKIWG). The SAKIWG will continue identifying steps that a sexual assault crime takes from collection to adjudication. The SAKIWG will work with appropriate agencies to rectify problems and drive policy change.
Service area - DESPP requests grant funds to support the Division of Scientific Services, which serves the entire state of Connecticut with a population of 3.6 million.
Who will benefit from the proposed project - The proposed project funds work conducted across three agencies, benefiting sexual assault survivors.