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Montana 2016 SAKI Grant

Award Information

Award #
2016-AK-BX-K015
Location
Congressional District
0
Status
Closed
Funding First Awarded
2016
Total funding (to date)
$1,999,040

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2016, $1,999,040)

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 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 Montana Board of Crime Control (MBCC) is awarded an FY 2016 SAKI award under Purpose Area 1 to test and track unsubmitted sexual assault evidence kits (SAKs), identify the issues that have created the high number of unsubmitted kits, and facilitate a multi-disciplinary team to develop victim-centered policies and procedures in responding to sexual assaults and eliminating unsubmitted SAKs. MBCC with partner with the Montana Department of Justice (DOJ) - Attorney General's Office, Division of Criminal Investigation, the Forensic Science Division/State Crime Lab, and the Montana Law Enforcement Academy as well as others to implement the SAKI award in Montana. The project’s goal is to create a statewide comprehensive plan that will: Utilize a multi-disciplinary team to develop evidence-based, victim-centered protocols in obtaining and testing unsubmitted and new sexual assault evidence kits; hire a Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) Site Coordinator who will facilitate communication between the Task Force and project partners, as well as law enforcement jurisdictions and survivors whose kits result in positive DNA hits in the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS); and provide a complete inventory of unsubmitted kits in Montana and track those kits through the project period. The Montana Attorney General certifies 1,410 identified kits statewide that have not been submitted to Montana's State Crime Lab for testing. The inventory and reasons for non-submission will help guide the Task Force in creating new policies and protocols that will be applied consistently across Montana to prevent additional unsubmitted SAKs held in evidence rooms. Funds will allow Montana DOJ to create a sexual assault team to include a SAKI Site Coordinator/Justice Advocate, Community Victim Advocate, a Sexual Assault Investigator, and a Training Coordinator to train law enforcement personnel in appropriate evidence collection; and submit of SAKs to the Crime Lab for testing, investigation, and effective victim-centered notification to survivors whose kits are tested. CA/NCF

Date Created: September 26, 2016