Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $1,200,000)
Project Purpose - The Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP) is requesting 2022 SAKI funds to develop and maintain a long-term plan for sexual assault evidence testing through the Division of Scientific Services (DSS). With past SAKI grants, the DSS has directed the testing of every unsubmitted sexual assault kit (SAK), every partially tested SAK, and secondary evidence from cases with no probative SAK results. The DSS has established a victim-centered evidence tracking system and decreased turnaround time to meet legal obligations set for by state statute. The 2022 SAKI project is focused on sustaining and enhancing current policies for longstanding success of sexual assault investigations.
Primary Activities - Funding for additional personnel and supplies will allow the DSS to continue to process sexual assault cases within the legislated turnaround times and mitigate a backlog. Improved tracking capabilities using STACS software will enhance the statewide tracking of SAKs. Lastly, the DSS will enhance current retention practices by purchasing additional equipment.
Expected Outcomes - The DSS will use the comprehensive BJA model to implement and maintain 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 - The 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.
Intended Beneficiaries - The proposed project will fund work conducted by the only accredited forensic testing laboratory in the State of Connecticut and thus will directly benefit sexual assault survivors across the entire state.
Subrecipients - N/A