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Unsubmitted Sexual Assault Kits: Navigating the Process From Inventory to Adjudication - A Guide for Holistic Cold Case Sexual Assault Reform

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 2018
15 pages
This guide instructs jurisdictions involved in the Bureau of Justice Assistance's (BJA's) National Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI), in reforming their procedures for processing backlogged sexual assault cases with sexual assault kits (SAKs) that have, for an extended period ("cold cases"). not been submitted for lab testing, so that they are effectively and efficiently managed from inventory to adjudication.
The SAKI Training and Technical Assistance (SAKI TTA) Team, which provides expertise and guidance to SAKI jurisdictions across the country, supports a holistic approach to reforming the management of sexual assault cases. This approach involves 1) establishing effective, sustainable practices for collecting and processing sexual assault forensic evidence; 2) investigating and prosecuting sexual assault cases; and 3) supporting survivors of sexual assault. This SAKI approach to processing sexual assault cases features management by multidisciplinary teams that will focus on the following tasks: inventorying and tracking SAKs; implementing victim-centered, trauma-informed practices while investigating and prosecuting these cases; and giving priority to serial- and cross-offending data in investigating and prosecuting sexual assault cases. This guide provides an overview of these focus areas and a step-by-step approach in achieving reform in processing sexual assault cases using SAKI's principles and philosophy.

Date Published: April 1, 2018