What is Nevada's Sexual Assault Kit Backlog Working Group?
In response to Nevada's backlog of untested sexual assault kits, the Nevada Attorney General formed a statewide, multidisciplinary group in 2015 comprised of local investigators, prosecutors, forensic scientists, victim advocates, nurses, legislators, and other criminal justice partners dedicated to addressing Nevada's backlog of untested kits. The Nevada Attorney General chairs this regularly convening group to develop strategies and best practices to complete the analysis of untested sexual assault kits. The group collectively addresses policy matters associated with testing of the kits for local jurisdictions including: victim notification, statewide training, resources for victims, testing of sexual assault kits collected in connection with a crime, entering all eligible DNA profiles into CODIS, following up on investigative leads, identifying suspects, prosecuting cases associated with these kits, collecting data for academic research, and identifying statewide resources, processes and legislation to prevent future backlogs.
In September 2015, the Nevada Attorney General announced that his office pledged over $3.68 million in funding to help reduce Nevada's backlog of untested sexual assault evidence kits. The secured funds were made available through a $1,983,533 U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance grant, as well as funds from a $1,700,000 non-taxpayer Bureau of Consumer Protection settlement. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department was simultaneously awarded $1,995,874 from the Manhattan District Attorney's Office. In October 2016, the Office of the Nevada Attorney General received two additional grants to address the State's backlog, including a $1,962,414 grant awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance to increase investigative and prosecutorial resources throughout the State, and an additional $523,268 in federal grant funds to enable the research and implementation of the Sexual Assault Kit tracking and record-keeping systems. In September 2017, Nevada received an additional award of $933,656 from the Bureau of Justice Assistance for the collection of lawfully owned DNA from convicted offenders to assist with sexual assault investigations and prosecutions.
Members of Nevada's Sexual Assault Kit Backlog Working Group
The Office of the Nevada Attorney General would like to thank all those who have been supportive to Nevada's sexual assault kit backlog initiative by participating on the statewide working group, including representatives from:
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