Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2020, $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 2020 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 2020, National SAKI Program funding is available under four Purpose Areas.
Recipients under Purpose Area 3: Expansion of DNA Databases to Assist with Sexual Assault Investigations and Prosecutions: Collection of Lawfully Owed DNA from Convicted Offenders and Arrestee DNA Collections, in accordance with applicable state law and for the purpose of resolving sexual assault cases associated with previously unsubmitted SAKs, will utilize the grant funds for identification, collection, and DNA profiling of samples from convicted offenders who should have samples in CODIS, but from whom samples have never been collected or submitted to a lab for testing. DNA collection must be targeted to offenders who have a likelihood of being linked to cases associated with the jurisdictions previously unsubmitted SAKs. A project under this purpose area must include the following elements: Census of convicted offenders that aligns with the census details outlined in the solicitation; DNA collection plan that targets the collection of DNA from convicted offenders who have a high likelihood of being linked to cases associated with the jurisdictions unsubmitted SAKs; Evidence of existing protocols, or plans for developing a protocol, for notifying victims if and when lawfully owed DNA collected from convicted offenders identifies a potential suspect or links their case to others, and provide support and services to victims; Designate a specific individual as the SAKI convicted persons DNA collection coordinator and demonstrate how this individual will work with the existing SAKI working group, local SART, and any other critical partners or groups to ensure coordination of efforts, plan and perform DNA collections from convicted offenders to inform investigations and prosecutions of cases resulting from evidence provided by previously unsubmitted SAKs, and access criminal records and other sensitive law enforcement records; Provide data related to previous SAK backlog elimination efforts or, if they currently have a SAKI project, provide the number of SAK-related CODIS hits in relation to the number of CODIS-eligible profiles uploaded to CODIS in total from tested SAKs, as well as information related to indictments or prosecutions associated with the SAKI project activities (where applicable).