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Utilizing CODIS for Unsubmitted Sexual Assault Kits

NCJ Number
Date Published
February 2018
2 pages
This "in-brief" publication by the federal Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) explains the rationale and procedures for submitting sexual assault kits (SAKs) from a backlog of unsubmitted SAKS for DNA testing and then uploading discovered DNA profiles to the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) for a potential hit, even for cases that have expired due to a state statute of limitations (SOL).
CODIS is the software management program and hardware used to link DNA databases at the local, state, and national levels. As of August 2016, CODIS has assisted in just over 329,000 investigations and produced just over 343,000 hits. CODIS can produce either a "forensic" hit or an "offender" hit. A "forensic" hit is one in which a DNA profile from a SAK/crime scene matches a CODIS DNA profile from another SAK/crime scene, but that DNA profile has yet to be matched to a named offender. An "offender" CODIS hit matches a submitted DNA profile to a CODIS DNA profile for which an offender with that profile is known by name. This in-brief report explains the provisions for uploading a DNA profile to CODIS. For "non-stranger" cases in which a suspect has been identified or admits consensual sexual contact with the victim, the DNA profile should still be submitted to CODIS for DNA, since it may corroborate events of the sexual contact or determine whether the known person's DNA may have been found at other crime scenes. Untested SAKs that have passed an SOL expiration date should still be tested for a DNA profile, since the potential offender may have left DNA at another crime scene for which the SOL has not expired. 4 references

Date Published: February 1, 2018