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National Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI)

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Overview

The National Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) provides funding to:

  • Support multidisciplinary community response teams to inventory, track, and expeditiously test previously unsubmitted sexual assault kits (SAKs).
  • Collect and test lawfully owed DNA from offenders/arrestees.
  • Produce necessary protocols and policies to improve collaboration and promote sustainable reform among laboratories, police, prosecutors, and victim service providers.
  • Provide resources to address the cold case sexual assault investigations and prosecutions that result from evidence and Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) hits produced by tested SAKs.
  • Optimize victim notification protocols and services.

SAKI also provides training and technical assistance (TTA). The TTA provider (RTI International) is charged with assisting jurisdictions in establishing sustainable change in practices, protocols, and policies as they relate to untested SAKs and sexual assault response. While each jurisdiction encounters unique challenges and circumstances, common issues are identified across all site grantees. BJA collaborated with the TTA provider to produce an online toolkit/guide to provide direction and a centralized source of evidence-based practices and relevant TTA resources that can be leveraged by all jurisdictions grappling with the challenge of not only untested SAKs, but downstream investigative/prosecutorial resources.

 Access data showing the impact of SAKI funding on awarded sites.

Why This Matters

SAKI is critical to enhancing the criminal justice response to sexual assault and ensuring justice for victims. SAKI funding will not only help link victims to advocates and needed services but will also help jurisdictions implement best practices and comprehensive reform to help bring people who commit sexual assault to justice and increase safety in communities by preventing future sexual assaults.

The impact of SAKI is being seen at the national, state, local, and tribal levels. People suspected of committing sexual assault are continually being identified and apprehended, victims are receiving long-awaited justice, and law enforcement agencies have the support and resources to improve their overall response to the crime of sexual assault.

Under SAKI, BJA is finding that a significant number of people who have committed multiple, violent sexual assaults are being linked to previously unsubmitted SAKs. Not only are those people committing sexual assaults, but they are frequently responsible for homicides and other violent offenses.

The initiative also represents a model program for eliminating backlogs of unsubmitted SAKs in law enforcement, while also creating long-term sustainability in state and local jurisdictions for addressing sexual assault and other violent crime.

Purpose Areas

SAKI has evolved since its inception in 2015 and is broken out into five different purpose areas. Each purpose area has its own focus:

 

Date Modified: October 18, 2022
Date Created: August 13, 2015