Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2019, $6,600,000)
The Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) is a competitive grant program that provides funding to support multidisciplinary community response teams to inventory, track, and test previously unsubmitted SAKs; produce necessary protocols and policies in support of improved coordination and collaboration among laboratories, police, prosecutors, and victim services providers to enhance the overall investigation and prosecution of cold, active, and future sexual assault cases; provide resources to address the sexual assault investigations and prosecutions that result from evidence and Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) hits produced by tested SAKs; enhance case outcomes by supporting the use of data through collection of lawfully owed DNA and entry of cases related to serial, violent offenders into the FBIs Violent Criminal Apprehension Program (ViCAP) national database; and optimize victim notification protocols and services.
The recipient will deliver a wide range of nationwide TTA services to SAKI grantees, including training and educational sessions developed and conducted by relevant subject-matter experts (SMEs); onsite or remote guidance on SAK-related issues including inventory, testing, and tracking of SAKs; creation and reporting of performance metrics; gaining access to necessary training to increase effectiveness in addressing the complex issues associated with these cases; and engaging in multidisciplinary coordination, investigation, prosecution, and victim advocacy, engagement, and support in connection with evidence and cases resulting from the testing process, as well as cold cases, especially homicides, to help meet the needs of the field.
Under this award, funds are allocated to fund DNA testing of evidence from violent cold cases (including homicides, attempted homicides, kidnappings, and missing and unidentified persons associated with suspicious circumstances). The SAKI national TTA provider will work directly with the more advanced SAKI sites (approximately 7-10 sites) that have tested the majority of their previously unsubmitted SAKs, have received CODIS hits, and have entered cases into ViCAP.