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Hawaii Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (HI SAKI)

Award Information

Award #
2016-AK-BX-K005
Location
Congressional District
Status
Closed
Funding First Awarded
2016
Total funding (to date)
$2,000,000

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2016, $2,000,000)

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.

The Hawaii Department of the Attorney General is being funded a FY 2016 SAKI award under Purpose Area 1 to implement the BJA national model to reduce their statewide backlog of unsubmitted SAKs and to develop a comprehensive strategy to prevent future reoccurrences. There are four police departments in Hawaii, with the Honolulu Police Department (HPD) serving 68% of the state’s population. In March 2016 the HPD conducted an audit which identified approximately 1,288 unsubmitted SAKs for the period covering 1990 to the present. Maui, Kauai, and Hawaii Police Departments have reported having no unsubmitted SAKs. The BJA SAKI award will provide the Hawaii AG with resources to convene a multi-disciplinary team representing the police, prosecutors, medical professionals, and sexual assault treatment providers from each of the four counties (Honolulu, Maui, Kauai, and Hawaii) and the laboratory director of the HPD’s Scientific Investigations Section. The Hawaii SAKI Team will be led by a grant-funded site coordinator who will serve as the central point of contact for the team to foster and coordinate communication among the members and will ensure that the team is meeting its milestones. The Hawaii SAKI Team will develop policies and procedures to complete the statewide inventory of unsubmitted kits and to prevent the problem from reoccurring; set priorities for the investigation and adjudication of SA cases; plan training to improve the investigation and prosecution of SA cases; establish victim-centered protocols and policies for victim engagement, notification, and support related to the unsubmitted kits; and develop an effective statewide SAK tracking system. The grant funds will also be used by HPD's SIS to test unsubmitted SAKs at an outsource laboratory.

ca/ncf

Date Created: September 26, 2016