This training and technical assistance resource of the U.S. Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Assistance’s (BJA’s) Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) is the Sexual Assault Unit Assessment Report for the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office (JSO) in Florida.
BJA’s SAKI assists jurisdictions in addressing backlogs of unsubmitted sex assault kits from investigations, but which have not yet undergone forensic analysis of their contents. As part of SAKI, the National SAKI Training and Technical Assistance (SAKI TTA) Sexual Assault Unit (SAU) assessment provides a comprehensive review of a participating agency’s sexual assault investigative process. The goal of the assessment is to support jurisdictions as they establish and develop effective and sustainable practices for responding to, investigating, and prosecuting sexual assault cases; collecting and processing sexual assault evidence; and supporting survivors of sexual assault. The assessment team members have a wide range of skills and expertise in sexual assault investigations, response, evidence identification and collection, forensic and criminal analysis for research and evaluation, victim advocacy and engagement, and prosecution. These are the domains assessed for participating law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve. Methods used to assess the JSO’s response to reports of sexual assault included a review of relevant policy, interviews with agency personnel, and a review of the management of sexual assault case investigations and prosecution. The findings of this assessment are intended to assist in either developing or strengthening sustainable practices within the JSO sexual assault response. Assessment findings address policies and procedures related to sexual assault reports, initial response to the reported crime, case file documentation, physical evidence and laboratory analysis, case submission to the prosecutor, and multiagency communication and collaboration. Recommendations for improving the management of sexual assault cases are provided. 3 tables, references, and appended interview guides and database variables
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