Sexual Assault

Sexual Assault Kit Evidence

NIJ has issued a solicitation, Strategic Approaches to Sexual Assault Kit Evidence: An Action Research Projects, to identify solutions to the nationwide problem of untested evidence in sexual assault cases. A webinar will be offered in conjunction with the solicitation, November 17th at 2pm ET. Participants will “learn more about the solicitation, including the “action-research” model through which NIJ hopes to develop innovative practices that other jurisdictions can use. Ample time will be allocated for audience questions.” You can register for the session here.

The panel will include:

Kristina Rose (moderator), Deputy Director, NIJ.

Katharine Browning, Ph.D., Senior Social Science Analyst, Crime Control Prevention Division, NIJ.

Mike Sheppo, Director, Office of Investigative and Forensic Sciences, NIJ.

From the site:

About the Research Project

Through this solicitation, NIJ seeks to better understand why so many sexual assault kits are not forwarded from police evidence rooms to crime labs for DNA testing and to develop innovative approaches to solve the problem.

NIJ will award up to $200,000 to each of up to five sites to create an “action-research” partnership to explore the problem and come up with solutions. Each site — a state or local government with a minimum of 500 untested sexual assault kits that have not been sent to a crime lab — will form a team to include a criminal-justice researcher and representatives from the police department, crime lab, prosecutor’s office, and a community-based victim services organization. The teams will first audit their cases to determine why the sexual assault kits were not sent to the lab, then develop a plan to tackle the problem.

In phase 2 of the project, NIJ intends to award up to a total of $4 million to the sites to implement their plans.

Get all the information about the solicitation here.

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