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State of West Virginia''s Sexual Assault Kit Initiative Grant Program

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $1,170,800)

The National Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) provides funding to state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies, and prosecutor’s offices to support multidisciplinary community response teams engaged in the comprehensive reform of jurisdictions’ approaches to sexual assault cases resulting from evidence found in previously unsubmitted sexual assault kits (SAKs) - i.e. those SAKs that have never been submitted to a crime laboratory.

The goal of the SAKI is the creation of a coordinated community response that ensures just resolution to these cases whenever possible through a victim-centered approach, as well as to build jurisdictions’ capacity to prevent the development of conditions that lead to high numbers of unsubmitted SAKs in the future. The holistic program provides jurisdictions with resources to address their unsubmitted SAK issue, including support to inventory, test, and track SAKs; create and report performance metrics; access necessary training to increase effectiveness in addressing the complex issues associated with these cases and engage in multidisciplinary policy development, implementation, and coordination; and improve practices related to investigation, prosecution, and victim engagement and support in connection with evidence and cases resulting from the testing process.

The West Virginia Division of Justice and Community Services will use this 2015 SAKI award to address the growing number of unsubmitted SAKs in the state of West Virginia. The proposed project will take a multi-jurisdictional approach that is representative of both rural and urban areas within the state. A multidisciplinary team will be formed to address the issue by conducting an inventory of SAKs; testing previously unsubmitted SAKs; uploading results/hits into CODIS; assigning designated personnel to pursue new investigative leads; developing policies/protocols in order to provide trauma informed victim notifications and supportive services; and prosecuting cases. BJA SAKI funds will be used to develop a new electronic data exchange in order to facilitate tracking of current unsubmitted SAKs and future SAKs; conduct a statewide and regional trainings to distribute information and train local law enforcement, victim advocates, and prosecutors; fund salaries for a site coordinator, research assistant, accountant, and a SAKI Victim Services Coordinator; fund training and travel expenses; purchase office supplies; fund overtime for SAK investigations; issue stipends for rape crisis services; and for other costs necessary for project implementation.


Date Created: September 10, 2015