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Unsubmitted SAKs: Navigating the Process From Inventory to Adjudication

NCJ Number
251621
Date Published
October 2017
Length
1 page
Annotation

The federal Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) outlines recommended goals and procedures for managing sexual assault kits (SAKs) from inventory to adjudication.

Abstract

The goals of this recommended procedure are to ensure justice for sexual assault victims, improve public safety and trust, test all uncommitted SAKs, and facilitate comprehensive sexual assault case reform. The recommended procedures first involve conducting an inventory of uncommitted SAKs and the installment of a system to track progress from inventory to adjudication. A multidisciplinary team should be established to address factors that contributed to a backlog of unsubmitted SAKs. In the course of processing SAKs, attention should be given to providing sexual assault victim services and support, including notification about progress and results in the processing of their SAKs. Protocols should be developed and executed for victim notification and related issues. Regarding the criminal justice system's processing of SAKs, stakeholders should determine the resources needed for investigations, prosecutions, and processing of SAKs, particularly training and personnel needs. When identified resource and procedural needs have been addressed, any SAK backlog should diminish as the efficiency and productivity of submitting and testing SAKs improves. In order to determine whether this is happening, criminal justice agencies should partner with researchers to collect and assess the relevant data. Cases that have become "cold," perhaps due to the SAK backlog, should be investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent possible.

Date Published: October 1, 2017