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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Recovering Latent Fingerprints from Cadavers

IN A HOMICIDE CASE, the recovery of latent impressions from a body is just one more step that should be taken in the process of completing a thorough search. This article is directed at crime-scene technicians and the supervisors who support and direct evidence-recovery operations both in the field and in the controlled settings of the medical examiner’s office or the morgue under the coroner’s direction.