Governor Jim Justice announced Tuesday he has awarded $377,335 in West Virginia National Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) grant funds to one statewide project.
According to a press release, the funds will be used to create a coordinated community response that does the following three things:
| Reduces the number of unsubmitted sexual assault kits, by implementing a protocol/plan to inventory and then track unsubmitted kits through to final adjudication.
| Improves the investigation and prosecution of sexual assault kit cases, through adoption of improved protocols, technology and management systems.
| Develops victim notification protocols and evaluates efficacy to enhance victim services and the support of victims of sexual assault.
National Sexual Assault Kit Initiative grant program funds are awarded by the U.S. Department of Justice, the Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Assistance. They are administered by the Division of Justice and Community Services, which is part of the Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety.
The funding was awarded to the West Virginia State Police to utilize a software program for tracking Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) hits, and for renovations to storage space for sexual assault kits to include temperature and humidity improvements.