Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $821,233)
The Washington State Attorney General’s Office (AGO) is requesting an additional $821,233 in U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance funding through the National Sexual Assault Kit Initiative. This request is to: (1) continue testing and tracking of unsubmitted sexual assault kit evidence; (2) allow AGO SAKI Senior Investigator Analysts to continue assisting jurisdictions with the investigation and prosecution of cases that arise from the testing of the unsubmitted SAKs; (3) give assistance to local law enforcement with additional DNA testing and forensic genetic genealogy testing; and (4) provide victim-centered, trauma-informed training across the state.
The AGO team currently consists of Assistant Attorney General Kate Hemann who is the AGO SAKI Site Coordinator and DNA Collection Coordinator, two Senior Investigator Analysts, an Investigator, IT App Developer Entry position, and Violent Crime Analyst.
As the lead agency, the AGO will continue working with our key partners: (1) Washington State Patrol (WSP) Crime Lab, (2) Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs, (3) Washington Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, (4) Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs and (5) Office of Crime Victim Advocacy.
The project goal is to continue to advance our objectives stated in our timeline. This project will continue its progress with the goal of completion in October 2024. Grant funding will advance the AGO SAKI Project by accomplishing the following:
Test the remainder of Washington State’s unsubmitted SAKs in coordination with WSP Crime Lab.
Utilize the multidisciplinary Sexual Assault Forensic Examination (SAFE) Advisory Group to build on the work of addressing Washington State’s high number of unsubmitted SAKs through additional policies and victim-centered, trauma-informed trainings.
Allow for our SAKI Senior Investigator Analysts to continue assisting local law enforcement agencies with the investigation and prosecution of cases resulting from the testing of the unsubmitted SAK backlog.
In this 2021 SAKI application, the Washington State AGO respectfully requests funding from the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance to continue to support our efforts on this initiative. The AGO will use these funds to continue to use a victim-centered holistic approach to advancing the current accomplishments of the AGO SAKI Team, eliminate Washington State’s unsubmitted SAKs, and seek justice for survivors.