This training and technical 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 Mobile Police Department (MPD) in Alabama.
The City of Mobile is one of the jurisdictions actively addressing its unsubmitted sexual assault kits (SAKs) collected in sexual assault investigations and awaiting forensic analysis of SAK content. In 2015, the MPD started using SAKI funding to address the backlog of unsubmitted SAKs. During the past several years, this effort has led to the implementation of a comprehensive reform in MPD’s response to sexual assault reports, including the creation of a Special Victims Unit (SVU) and Family Justice Center (FJC). This reform effort included a focus on testing SAKS in the backlog and incorporating resulting evidence in case investigations. Related training supports sexual assault evidence collection; technology; and multidisciplinary, trauma-informed response. The current document reports on an assessment of MPD’s Sexual Assault Unit (SAU) by BJA’s SAKI Training and Technical Assistance Team. The assessment methods are first described, followed by separate sections on the assessment of SAU policies and procedures, case review data, and the presentation of SAU assessment findings and recommendations. Assessment findings and recommendations pertain to the initial response to the reported crime, case file documentation, investigative and crime-scene follow-up, Special Victims Detail (SVD) resources and workload, and multi-agency communication and collaboration. Recommendations address the strengths of the MPD response to sexual assaults and key recommendations for improvement. 3 tables, references, and appended assessment tools
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