DOJ awards $2.5M to reduce Washington’s backlog of untested rape kits

DOJ awards $2.5M to reduce Washington’s backlog of untested rape kits

The Washington Attorney General’s Office has won an additional $2.5 million in federal grants to fund Washington’s Sexual Assault Kit Initiative program.

The program is part of a statewide initiative to end Washington’s rape kit backlog.

One million dollars will go toward funding a new effort to add DNA profiles of thousands of convicted offenders across the state to the national DNA evidence database.

That DNA information will make it more likely for a newly tested sexual assault kit to result in a “hit,” connecting the DNA evidence from the kit to a known offender, the AG’s Office said.

The remaining $1.5 million will go toward testing backlogged kits, training law enforcement and hiring additional personnel to support the SAKI team.

“This is an important step toward justice for sexual assault survivors,” said AG Bob Ferguson. “The funding we’ve won today will help us to both continue to test backlogged evidence and start gathering DNA information on convicted criminals. The more information we can get on repeat offenders, the more cases we can solve.”

The AG’s Office won a $3 million grant for the program from the Department of Justice in 2017.

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