Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $1,395,078)
The City of Memphis continues the process of testing and investigating SAK backlogged evidence. Secondary evidence testing is prioritized and as new DNA forensic testing techniques develop, other current evidence may warrant additional testing. Memphis also seeks to maintain and add strategic personnel to assist with the task of processing and tracking SAKs, investigating and prosecuting cases, and providing a sustainable process for the future. The comprehensive approach Memphis has sustained continues to adapt based to best-practices and current needs in serving Memphis and Shelby County, Tennessee. Memphis intends to transition data coordination from the Memphis Police Department (MPD) to the Shelby County District Attorney General’s (SCDAG) office, to ease case management and coordination within the group. The proposed project will lead to additional evidence tested, identification of offenders, cases prosecuted, and the continued development of metrics to track investigation and evaluation. Through further testing and investigation of additional evidence, more survivors will see their cases prosecuted. To ensure success, Memphis seeks to retain key personnel for victim advocacy, investigation, prosecution, and data entry/analysis. The research partner will continue to evaluate this process, by assisting the SCDAG SAKI DNA Data Coordinator with measurement and analysis to ensure the database is optimized to assist in investigation and evaluation. Analyses include descriptive statistical analyses, uncovering patterns in-relation to the type of forensic testing and other case-based factors. Metrics of success will be developed based on analyses to relay crucial information to the multidisciplinary task force on an on-going basis.