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Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 2019
1 page
This material provided by the U.S. Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) for Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month (April 2019) features a description of and data for the BJA's National Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) program.
Sexual assault victims are often advised to undergo a medical exam that includes collecting DNA and other physical evidence from the crime and preserving it in a sexual assault kit (SAK). Several case studies have documented the challenges that law enforcement agencies face in routinely submitting SAKs to crime labs for DNA testing. As a result of limited resources and staff, some untested SAKs are backlogged in evidence storage for decades. SAKI is making a nationwide impact on these SAK backlogs by supporting jurisdictions in 35 states for the inventorying of SAKs in storage and the testing of SAKs as needed. Between 2015 and 2018, the SAKI program awarded 54 grantees $139 million. Grantees used these funds in building jurisdictional capacity to increase the rate of processing for backlogged SAKs, as well as to conduct investigations and prosecution of cases that resulted from evidence in previously unsubmitted SAKs. This report highlights data reported by SAKI grantees between October 2015 and December 2018. Data are reported for the number of SAKs designated as backlogged, number of SAKs sent for DNA testing, and number of SAKS tested to completion. Data are also reported on DNA profiles uploaded to CODIS and the number of CODIS hits broken down by numbers for hits to a named offender; hits to another SAK/crime, but no named offender; matched person of interest previously listed; and matched person of interest not previously listed. Data on SAKI investigations and prosecutions cover the number of investigations, number of cases charged, number of plea bargains, and number of convictions.

Date Published: April 1, 2019