Developing Protocols for Testing Sexual Assault Kits

Addressing the issues surrounding the testing of sexual assault kits (SAKs) is one of the most complex challenges facing our nation’s criminal justice system. What kind of kits are not sent to the lab for testing? Once at the lab, what are the most effective ways to test and track them?

To help find the best strategies, methods and procedures for dealing with SAKs, the FBI and NIJ have formed a research partnership. The long-range goal is improved practices and policies for law enforcement and crime labs.

State and local law enforcement agencies will submit their eligible SAKs to the FBI, and NIJ will gather facts and data about the processing of the cases. The goal is to develop more effective tools and strategies for evaluating the methods and procedures now used, improve practices, and inform future policies and decisions.

The FBI will enter eligible DNA profiles into the National DNA Index System (NDIS), a component of the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS). Experts believe that increasing the number of profiles in CODIS will increase the potential to solve other crimes.

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Source: NIJ

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Court Case Update

FINGERPRINT EVIDENCE went through a nearly three-year ordeal in the New Hampshire court system, but eventually emerged unscathed. On April 4, 2008, the New Hampshire Supreme Court unanimously reversed the decision of a lower court to exclude expert testimony regarding fingerprint evidence in the case of The State of New Hampshire v. Richard Langill. The case has been remanded back to the Rockingham County Superior Court.