SAKI Sustainability and Sexual Assault Unit Assessments
In 2022, funding for the National Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) program expanded with an additional purpose area focused on sustainability. The goal of a holistic SAKI approach is implementing sustainable policies and procedures that can prevent unsubmitted kits from ever accumulating and that ensure the overall response to sexually motivated crimes is consistently conducted in a timely and victim-centered manner. As SAKI grantees approach the completion of testing, investigating, and prosecuting their SAKI cases, this purpose area solicits SAKI grantees which have completed testing of their unsubmitted kits and downstream case investigative activities for the majority of their cases for a final SAKI project that is focused on sustainability.
The first two grantees to receive funding for developing and implementing a sustainability plan were awarded in FY2022 The City of Portland (Oregon) and Connecticut's Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection. As of FY2022, SAKI grantees who received funding for this purpose area are eligible to participate in Sexual Assault Unit (SAU) Assessments.
Grantees looking for an in-depth evaluation of their Sexual Assault Unit (SAU) are encouraged to talk to the SAKI Training and Technical Assistance (TTA) Team about the possibility of participating in a SAU Assessment. For information and final reports from previously completed assessments, please see below.
Sexual Assault Unit Assessments
The SAKI TTA Team is working with jurisdictions across the country to conduct SAU Assessments, which examine the processes and procedures in place for investigating and prosecuting sexual assault casesincluding the use of victim-centered and trauma-informed practices. These voluntary assessments are conducted in partnership with jurisdictions to provide an independent, comprehensive review of the sexual assault investigative processboth within and outside of the law enforcement domain.
The assessments have three components:
- A review of sexual assault policies and procedures;
- Interviews with staff, including supervisors within the SAU unit; and
- A systematic review of sexual assault investigative case files.
Following the systematic review, the SAU Team provides an in-person agency briefing and summary report that details the findings and recommendationsincluding linkages between identified needs and available resources and trainings.
The SAU Assessments are led by Dr. Kevin Strom and Ret. Detective Sergeant Jim Markey from RTI International and a team that includes subject matter experts in sexual assault investigations and victim advocacy. The team also leverages other SAKI TTA experts in investigations, advocacy, forensic nursing, forensic science, and prosecution.
SAU Assessment Reports
Fayetteville Police Department (North Carolina)
This report details the main findings and recommendations from the SAU Assessment for the Fayetteville Police Department (FPD), completed in December 2017. The report also identifies available resources and trainings to address specific needs. The FPD, which has been a SAKI site since fiscal year 2015, has been working with partners to aggressively pursue sexual assaultsincluding cold case sexual assaults associated with previously unsubmitted sexual assault kits.
Jacksonville Sheriff's Office (Florida)
The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office (JS0), FL began a coordinated effort to address the previously unsubmitted sexual assault kits in Jacksonville, FL in 2016 with funding from the BJA National Sexual Assault Kit Initiative. In 2020, JSO elected to participate in a sexual assault unit assessment to examine the impact of their operational and investigative practices for crimes of sexual violence. This report details the findings and recommendations from the 2020 SAU Assessment.
Mobile Police Department (Alabama)
The Mobile Police Department (MPD) initially received SAKI funding in 2015 and has been working to address the issue of unsubmitted sexual assault kits while adopting a trauma-informed, victim-centered approach to their response to sexual assault reform within their jurisdiction. In 2018, MPD elected to participate in a sexual assault unit assessment to examine the impact of their operational and investigative practices for crimes of sexual violence. This report details the findings and recommendations from the 2018 SAU Assessment.
West Valley City Police Department (Utah)
West Valley City Police Department (Utah) participated in a SAU Assessment in 2018. This report highlights the efforts made by the agency to improve their response to sexual assault reform. This report also details the main findings, recommendations, and resources to help the West Valley City Police Department (WVCPD) in their response to sexual assault reform. The WVCPD is an agency part of the Commission of Criminal Justice (Salt Lake County)/Utah Department of Public Safety, which has been a SAKI site since fiscal year 2015. Law enforcement agencies working with this SAKI site are committed to solving cold case sexual assaults associated with previously unsubmitted sexual assault kits.
The SAKI TTA Team continues to work on additional SAU Assessments. As those are completed, final reports will be added to this page.