Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2019, $1,000,000)
The National Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) supports the Departments criminal justice priorities of reducing violent crime and supporting law enforcement officers and prosecutors by: (1) providing jurisdictions with resources to address sexual assault kits (SAKs) in their custody that have not been submitted to a forensic laboratory for testing with Combined DNA Index System (CODIS)-eligible DNA methodologies; and (2) improving investigation and prosecution in connection with evidence and cases resulting from the testing process; and (3) providing sites with resources to collect DNA samples from qualifying individuals who should have a sample in CODIS (based on the type and time of the offense in relation to applicable state law), but from whom a sample has never been collected or submitted to a laboratory for testing. In addition, SAKI will provide investigators with assistance in how to more effectively question subjects, which could provide stronger investigative leads and build stronger prosecutorial cases, which in turn could help solve more crimes.
The FY 2019 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. In FY 2019, National SAKI Program funding is available under four Purpose Areas.
Recipients under Purpose Area 4: Investigation and Prosecution of Cold Case Sexual Assaults are awarded funds to support the investigation and prosecution of high volumes of sexual assault cases that have resulted from testing backlogs of previously unsubmitted SAKs. This funding is intended as enhancement funds for applicants that have clearly demonstrated their jurisdictions have previously addressed, or are currently effectively addressing, the major issues associated with unsubmitted SAKs. Grant recipients must also enter all criteria cases into ViCAP (before the end of the grant period) to increase the chances of identifying and apprehending violent serial offenders who pose a serious threat to public safety. Under Purpose Area 4, recipients must establish partnerships where possible.