Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2016, $219,496)
The National Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) provides funding to state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies, and prosecutors 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 Greenville Police Department is awarded an FY 2016 SAKI award to address the issue of unsubmitted sexual assault kits in Greenville, North Carolina. The city of Greenville has conducted an inventory of SAKs in their possession and of the 512 kids identified, 312 were never submitted to a lab for testing. Greenville will send majority of these kits to the North Carolina SBI lab; however, some kits do not meet their criteria for testing. The FY 2016 award will be used to test 134 of the 312 unsubmitted SAKs at a private lab; hire a Site Coordinator to oversee the SAKI project including the submission of unsubmitted SAKs to the lab for testing and tracking them through the process; pay overtime costs for detectives to investigate sexual assault cases; purchase an evidence cooler and freezer; and send investigators, detectives, and a crime scene tech to Sexual Assault Investigation Training.