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Maricopa County 2016 SAKI

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2016, $1,232,705)

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 Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 National SAKI Program will provide funds to recipients to implement or enhance the comprehensive BJA model to address the issues that underline the problem of unsubmitted SAKs or to expand their existing SAKI project to include the collection of lawfully owed DNA samples from convicted offenders.

Maricopa County, through the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office (MCAO), is funded a FY 2016 SAKI award under Purpose Area 1 to address unsubmitted SAKs within the county through the implementation of the BJA model. Maricopa County has documented that there are over 4,000 unsubmitted sexual assault kits (SAKs) in Maricopa County and has formed a multidisciplinary team (MDT) of stakeholders to examine the issues contributing to the collection of unsubmitted SAKs and develop a victim-centered Sexual Assault Protocol that includes best practices for investigation, victim notification and prosecution. The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office (MCAO) received a $1.9 million grant from the New York County District Attorney’s Office (DANY) in September 2015 to test 2,300 unsubmitted SAKs and report related program outcome measures (number of kits tested, number of CODIS hits, case disposition, victim and offender demographics). Through the FY 2016 BJA SAKI Program, the recipient will expand MCAO’s strong start and build upon the infrastructure in place. Funds will be used to hire a highly qualified site coordinator to work with the MDT and manage the administrative functions of the project; conduct a complete and comprehensive inventory of unsubmitted SAK’s; test and analyze unsubmitted SAKs; conduct victim notification, investigation and prosecution of cases resulting from CODIS hits; draft a Sex Assault Protocol and legislation to address SAK testing; and conduct multidisciplinary training.


Date Created: September 25, 2016