Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $2,500,000)
The Office of the Missouri Attorney General, a state government entity, requests National Sexual Assault Kit Initiative 2022 Competitive Grant funds with these expected outcomes: support the Missouri SAFE Kit Initiative, continue progress toward the elimination of untested sexual assault kits (SAKs) in Missouri, and support law enforcement and prosecutors to reduce violent crimes.
This application under Purpose Area 1 will continue BJA’s Model elements: Comprehensive Inventory, Multidisciplinary Working Group and State Coordinator. Missouri completed an initial inventory in 2019 and will complete a secondary inventory including partially tested kits by the end of May 2022. To date, of the 5,735 untested SAKs inventoried in Missouri there are state and federal resources to DNA test only 3,417 SAKs leaving a balance of 1,171 untested kits. 82% of the remaining untested SAKs are located in the underserved, major urban regions of Kansas City and St. Louis.
The 2022 SAKI grant will complete the final inventory, within six months, adding untested kits in Missouri from April 2020 to May 2022 plus any partially tested kits not previously reported. During the inventory process law enforcement agencies and hospitals not engaged in the mandatory SAFETrack ETS will be on-boarded and trained. Grant funds will provide DNA testing for 1,171 untested SAKs, or more, including technical review, CODIS upload and ViCAP entry. Grant funds are needed to continue the professional services of the ViCAP Criminal Analyst, Cold Case Investigator, Inventory/Data Manager and the SAFE Kit Initiative State Coordinator through September 2025.
The Attorney General’s Office (AGO) is the sole grant recipient and lead agency. A Multidisciplinary Working Group (MDWG) will continue to meet quarterly to provide recommendations and guidance with a statewide, holistic perspective to resolve barriers identified within the criminal justice system. MDWG consists of personnel from law enforcement, hospitals, SANE nurses, crime labs, victim advocacy groups, and prosecutors around the State of Missouri.
Missouri qualifies for Priority 1A consideration. Without the financial support of federal funds, SAFE Kit Initiative goals cannot continue or be permanently accomplished in Missouri.