Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) GranteeKansas Bureau of Investigation

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SAKI awarded the Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI) a grant in the amount of $2 million, which it will use to identify and evaluate the underlying factors that have contributed to the accumulation of unsubmitted SAKs, and develop evidence-based best practices and model policy guidance to prevent future accumulation. KBI will also test previously unsubmitted SAKs, investigate and prosecute resulting cases, and address the need for victim notification and re-engagement with the criminal justice system.

The Kansas Bureau of Investigation, funded in 2015, has used SAKI funding to achieve several goals and milestones:

  • The Kansas SAKI Team identified and a report, Identification of Underlying Factors, which highlights the underlying circumstances that contributed to the accumulation of unsubmitted sexual assault kits throughout the state of Kansas. The publication cites a lack of training, lack of resources, lack of policy and a lack of societal awareness as the four core factors and identifies specific recommendations to address the barriers associated with each factor. These findings and recommendations have been shared with agencies in Kansas who have a role in responding to sexual assault to prevent a future accumulation.
  • More than 2,200 previously unsubmitted SAKs across the state have been identified. Recognizing that laboratory resources were limited, a portion of the full inventory was tested. The results of this analysis will help the team develop evidence-based recommendations to address the remaining statewide inventory and determine model policies for future kit submission and retention. The SAKI team selected 12 local agencies, who identified more than 25 or more SAKs within their property room, to submit a portion of their kits (i.e. a cross-sectional sample) for a "test all" analysis. This amounted to approximately 25% of our total statewide inventory and encompassed local agencies from both urban and rural jurisdictions.
  • The SAKI team developed a new strategy to assist local law enforcement agencies: CODIS Hit Packets. When a DNA match occurs from laboratory analysis, a SAKI Research Analyst compiles a packet of material to send to law enforcement to assist in evaluating the case for reinvestigation. This packet includes the laboratory reports, CODIS hit notification, an in-depth suspect criminal background, suspect's last known location and contact information, and victim's last known location and contact information.

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To learn more about their progress, read below for other news and events out of Kansas Bureau of Investigation.

News and Events

Wichita police commit to send rape-kit backlog of nearly 1.700 for DNA testing
Chance Swaim, The Wichita Eagle, Nov 2, 2018
The Wichita Police Department announced that they are instituting a "submit all" policy for testing sexual assault kits, including their 1,700 backlogged kits from 2002-2017.

KBI’s Sexual Assault Kit Initiative recommends all sexual assault kits be submitted to a laboratory and tested
Kansas Bureau of Investigation, Apr 13, 2018
The Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI) released a formal recommendation that all sexual assault kits collected in Kansas be submitted to a forensic laboratory for analysis. This recommendation is based of of KBI's SAKI project and 2 years of study. Read KBI's announcement.

Kansas Sexual Assault Kit Initiative announces findings and makes recommendations
Kansas Bureau of Investigation, Jul 25, 2017
KBI has discussed the underlying causes of the accumulation of backlogged sexual assault kits in Kansas. The results, as well as recommendations to prevent a future accumulation can be reviewed in the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative Findings & Recommendations Publication.

Kansas Working Group as a Model for Successful Collaboration
EndtheBacklog.org, Apr 17, 2017
Katie Whisman (Executive Officer, Kansas Bureau of Investigation) leads the Kansas Sexual Assault Kit Initiative, a statewide multidisciplinary working group tasked with addressing the state’s existing backlog and developing standardized practices to improve the handling of rape kits. In this blog post, Katie shares her experiences with the group, whose successes include achieving 100 percent law enforcement agency participation in a voluntary statewide audit of unsubmitted rape kits.

Kansas Completes Rape Kit Inventory - Interview
Cecelia Jenkins, 6 News Lawrence, Apr 6, 2017
The Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI) completed a statewide inventory of untested sexual assault kits, identifying over 2,000 kits. With current funding, the KBI estimates at least 2 years to complete testing. Follow the link for an interview with KBI executive officer Katie Whisman, who leads the SAKI effort in Kansas.

Kansas becomes the first state to complete statewide sexual assault kit count with 100% voluntary law enforcement participation
Kansas Bureau of Investigation, Mar 14, 2017
The Kansas Bureau of Investigation, (KBI) completed a statewide inventory of all previously unsubmitted sexual assault kits in Kansas. This count was accomplished with the full participation of each of Kansas’s 383 city and county law enforcement agencies. They are the first state to have 100% participation that is voluntary. KBI identified 2,220 unsubmitted sexual assault kits in the possession of 86 law enforcement agencies. Approximately 1,200 have been submitted to the forensic laboratory as of March 2017. Find out more by reading the full release.

2,000-plus pending sexual assault kits identified in Kansas
Katie Moore, The Topeka Capital-Journal, Sep 21, 2015
As of September 2015, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation identified 2,008 unsubmitted sexual assault kits statewide. Kansas formed a statewide multidisciplinary working group that includes law enforcement, forensic laboratories, forensic nurses, and victim advocates to address the problem. Read the story to find out more.

KBI surveying local law enforcement on unprocessed sexual assault kits
Ann Marie Bush, The Topeka Capital-Journal, Nov 23, 2014
In November 2014, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation initiated a survey of all Kansas law enforcement agencies to identify unsubmitted sexual assault kits in the state. The state agency created a plan to identify and test forensic evidence so that it can be entered into the FBI's Combined DNA Index System (CODIS). Read the full story.

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