The Massachusetts State Police and the District Attorney's Office of Bristol County, Massachusetts, jointly used their FY2018 $2-million SAKI grant to address the county's sexual assault kits (SAKs) that have been partially tested or DNA tested with antiquated technology; separate statewide legislation allows for testing of all unsubmitted SAKs.
This funding allowed for a site coordinator to assist with a SAK inventory and submit the SAKs to a crime laboratory; eligible DNA profiles were then uploaded to the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS). Massachusetts hired a victim witness advocate and established a task force over the initial 6 months to ensure a comprehensive, victim-centered plan. Ultimately, the program will be replicated in all Massachusetts counties.
In FY2020, the Massachusetts Office of Grants and Research was awarded $1.5 million to continue efforts from the FY2018 award in the state of Massachusetts. This new funding will be utilized to test the remaining SAKs and follow up with subsequent case investigation and prosecution. Appropriate criteria will be entered into both CODIS and the Violent Criminal Apprehension Program databases. Additionally, the state plans to hire a cold case investigator, an assistant district attorney, and two victim advocates.
For more information on the specific SAKI awards for this site, see the table below.
|Massachusetts State Police/Bristol County District Attorney's Office|
|FY2018||$2,000,000||Comprehensive Approach to Unsubmitted Sexual Assault Kits|
|Massachusetts Office of Grants and Research|
|FY2020||$1,500,000||Comprehensive Approach to Unsubmitted Sexual Assault Kits|
New system lets survivors track rape kits
SHIRA SCHOENBERG, CommonWealth, Jan 29, 2020
Massachusetts is rolling out a new system that will allow survivors of sexual assault to track online the processing of evidence collected from them at hospitals following an assault.
Massachusetts makes $8 million investment to collect and test rape kits as Gov. Charlie Baker signs budget bill
Melissa Hanson, MASS Live, Apr 1, 2019
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed a supplemental budget to inventory and test all sexual assault kits in police custody.
House Approves Jones' Initiative Funding Rape Kit Testing
Bob Holmes, Patch, Feb 27, 2019
The House of Representatives for Massachusetts approved $8 million for the State Police Crime Laboratory to help pay for the collection and testing of sexual assault kits to supplement their $2 million SAKI grant.
Funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative aims to create a coordinated community response that ensures just resolution to sexual assault cases. Through this program, funding is provided to support multidisciplinary community response teams engaged in the comprehensive reform of jurisdictions approaches to sexual assault cases resulting from evidence found in previously unsubmitted sexual assault kits.