Category Archives: Funding

Department Of Justice Awards Nearly $37 Million To Support Sexual Assault Kit Testing, Tracking And Investigation

WASHINGTON – The Department of Justice today announced awards totaling nearly $37 million to help state, local and tribal government agencies improve the response to sexual assault and victim services, and analyze unsubmitted sexual assault kits in law enforcement custody. The grants will aid jurisdictions in reducing backlogs of sexual assault evidence and solving crimes of sexual violence.
Administered through the National Sexual Assault Kit Initiative, managed by the Office of Justice Programs’ Bureau of Justice Assistance, 21 grant awards totaling more than $35 million were awarded to improve the processing of sexual assault kits and strengthen jurisdictions’ capacity to act on evidence resulting from kit processing. Those awards are available online at: https://www.bja.gov/funding/FY-2017-National-Sexual-Assault-Kit-Initiative-Funding-Awards.pdf

New money means more GBI scientists to test rape kits for DNA

For years, thousands of rape kits sat in storage at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation untouched and untested as the agency’s crime lab found itself short-staffed and unable to keep pace.
But an influx of more than $850,000 in new funding from the state to add more scientists and lab technicians has officials hopeful the agency will eventually eliminate the rape kit backlog.

Orange County supervisors pass $6.2 billion budget, which increases deputies’ pay, hires more forensic scientists

The sheriff’s department also will add four new deputy positions to patrol the county’s unincorporated areas, four crime lab analysts to test DNA in criminal cases, and six forensic scientists to address a backlog in testing sexual assault evidence. Those additional scientists will help process rape kits in under a month – which in line with national recommendations – instead of the 30 to 45 days the process now takes in the county.

Boise State grant for post-conviction DNA testing comes with a catch

The Idaho Innocence Project will benefit from a $630,000 U.S. Department of Justice grant to test DNA in possible wrongful-conviction cases.
But none of the money can be used on Idaho cases, and the grant had to be given to Boise State University.

24 Years Later, DNA Leads to Arrest in Manhattan Attack on a Girl

It was one of those ugly, unsolved crimes that seem to haunt many neighborhoods in New York City: In February 1993, a man with a knife abducted an 11-year-old girl in an apartment building hallway in the Hamilton Heights section of Manhattan, forced her to the roof and sexually assaulted her.
The girl was taken to Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, where nurses gathered physical evidence from her body, but no one was ever arrested. The DNA of her attacker was not even tested until 2002, when the city undertook a project to clear a backlog of rape-evidence kits.

Funding cut for Wisconsin missing persons and cold cases

Investigators all over Wisconsin will now have to find a new lab, and the other options will cost them money, and cost them time trying to solve certain cases. “If it’s the FBI and it’s not a pressing matter might take years to complete,” Simley said.

Program to identify dead and missing across US put on hold

Scientist pick up unidentified human remains to analyze in the Missing Persons Lab at the UNT Health Science Center in Fort Worth, Texas on July 15, 2014

The largest lab that tests DNA for missing people and unidentified dead no longer will accept DNA samples from law enforcement agencies and crime laboratories across the country because of a nearly $1 million cut to its funding.
Without the funding, which came through a federal grant, the University of North Texas Center for Human Identification cannot afford to process DNA samples that come from agencies outside Texas. The lab estimates that it received more than 1,200 out-of-state samples last year, which accounted for nearly 80 percent of its work.

Senate passes Justice for All Reauthorization Act of 2016

mark-warnerThe Senate unanimously passed the Justice for All Reauthorization Act of 2016, bipartisan legislation co-sponsored by Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) to reauthorize programs within the Department of Justice to improve the accuracy and integrity of the criminal justice system, and ensure public confidence in our legal system by investing in cutting-edge DNA testing and forensic technology.

NIJ awards FIU $1.5 million for forensic science research

NIJ and IFRIResearchers at FIU’s International Forensic Research Institute (IFRI) have been awarded $1.5 million from the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) to further research in drug exposure detection, crime scene investigation, synthetic cannabinoids and DNA analysis.

Congress slated to increase rape kit funding by $45M

sexual assault kit 4WASHINGTON — Lawmakers are positioned to devote $45 million in the 2016 fiscal year to combat the nation’s accumulation of untested sexual assault kits.
The funding, included as part of the omnibus spending bill Congress released Wednesday, is aimed at helping local law enforcement agencies test backlogged sexual assault evidence kits and perform related activities as part of a U.S. Justice Department initiative.

Justice Department Awards More Than $29 Million To Forensic Science Research And Development

Justice DeptWASHINGTON, Oct. 6, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Office of Justice Programs’ National Institute of Justice (NIJ) today announced that it has awarded more than $29 million in research and development funding to over 60 recipients who proposed work designed to strengthen forensic science and advance criminal justice policy and practice.

District Attorney Vance Awards $38 Million In Grants To Help 32 Jurisdictions In 20 States Test Backlogged Rape Kits

blue helix2Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the award of approximately $38 million in grants to 32 jurisdictions in 20 states across the United States to eliminate backlogs of untested sexual assault evidence kits, or “rape kits.” The two-year awards, ranging in amount from approximately $97,000 to $2 million, will help test an estimated 56,475 rape kits, generating DNA evidence that will help solve cases across the country.

GBI gets grant to eliminate rape kit backlog

sexual assault kitsATLANTA (WXIA) — The GBI will get nearly two million dollars to eliminate a backlog of untested rape kits, officials said Thursday. The grant could solve a nagging problem which left rape cases in limbo — often for years — because evidence hadn’t been tested and analyzed.

Millions Earmarked to Clear ‘Disturbing’ Rape Kit Backlog

Sexual assualt backlogFor years, they’ve been collecting dust — tens of thousands of evidence kits that could lead police to serial rapists but have never been tested.
But now, almost $80 million is being earmarked to help clear the massive backlog and hopefully get justice for sexual assault survivors.

MU forensic lab faces hurdle

2015 0804 MUForensic 01“We have two sides to the coin,” Fenger said. “We’re trying to provide excellent service to help victims of crime, all types of crime, primarily through digital forensics and DNA, and the same time there’s budget cuts that are based on true deficiencies in the state budget, with coal no longer providing as much revenue as the past.”