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Portland Sexual Assault Kit Backlog Reduction, Advocacy & Prosecution Model

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $1,189,790)

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 city of Portland will use this 2015 SAKI award to address the 1,931 unsubmitted SAKs in the Portland Police Bureau’s (PPB) custody. PPB will take a multidisciplinary approach through the establishment of the Unsubmitted Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence Task Force (USAFE-TE) to eradicate the problem. USAFE-TF will work with the Multnomah County Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) to develop a consistent advocacy response to victims who may be re-traumatized by the discovery of new evidence and establish a hot line and e-mail account to give victims connection to the task force and the ability to check their SAK findings or status of their investigation. BJA SAKI funds will be used to provide training for investigators, DA’s, and advocates working with victims; fund salaries for a detective, victim advocate, a police administrative support specialist, a deputy district attorney, and a sheriff’s office deputy; fund training and travel expenses; and fund other costs necessary for project implementation.


Date Created: September 10, 2015