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Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $2,125,000)

The Montana Department of Justice (MT DOJ) is requesting funding through the National Sexual Assault Kit Initiative as a statewide SAKI site to inventory and test unsubmitted and partially tested sexual assault kits identified in a phase III inventory plan, facilitate a statewide multidisciplinary task force to provide recommendations to accomplish project goals, conduct cold case sexual assault investigations for prosecution, and renovate existing evidence storage facilities to preserve the integrity of DNA evidence.

Utilizing the essential elements of the BJA SAKI Model, the project coordinates a statewide multidisciplinary task force to provide recommendations and guidance to meet our stated project goals and objectives. MT DOJ will maintain a SAKI Site Coordinator who facilitates communication between the SAKI Task Force, partners, and community organizations. The SAKI Site Coordinator leads the SAKI team, organizes MDT case reviews across the state and will be responsible for completing required performance metrics for submission to BJA.

FY2023 grant funds allow MT DOJ to create a SAKI team that will work on the project goals. The SAKI team will consist of a SAKI Site Coordinator, SAKI Cold Case Investigator, SAKI Crime Analyst, and provide overtime pay for Forensic Scientists assisting on the SAKI project. Funds support MT DOJ’s phase III inventory plan to inventory and test pre-2001 sexual assault kits located at the Montana State Crime Lab, in addition to, remaining untested and/or partially tested kits inventoried during the phase II inventory plan, resources to organize case reviews of SAKI cases as a result of a CODIS hit, perform survivor notifications, and have a dedicated cold case SAKI Investigator to conduct investigations for subsequent prosecution. The SAKI team and Project Director work closely with the SAKI Task Force and stakeholders to continue pushing for sustainable change to improve Montana’s overall response to the crime of sexual assault, end the rape kit backlog, and increase the likelihood of successful prosecutions on sexual assault cases across the state of Montana.

Date Created: September 25, 2023