Dallas County Awarded $1,000,000 Federal Grant for Sexual Assault Kit Testing
DALLAS – U.S. Attorney John Parker announced today that Dallas County will receive $1,00,000 in grant funding as part of the federal government’s efforts to process sexual assault kits in law enforcement custody that have not been submitted to forensic laboratories.
The grant, announced by Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch, is one of nine million dollar grants awarded last week by the Justice Department’s Office of Justice Programs Bureau of Justice Assistance and funded under the 2016 National Sexual Assault Kit Initiative.
“It is my fervent hope that this funding will help bring healing, hope and justice to those affected by the devastating crime of sexual assault,” said U.S. Attorney John Parker.
This annual award provides funding to support a community-based comprehensive approach to inventory and test previously unsubmitted kits. The program also enables jurisdictions to assign personnel to pursue leads and criminal investigations based on evidence discovered through kit testing, as well as to develop evidence-based tracking systems and train law enforcement on sexual assault investigations. Further, grantees can use the funds to conduct research on outcomes in sexual assault cases, and increase collection of DNA that may lead to identification of serial sex offenders.
“Justice delayed is justice denied. We are thankful for the strong relationship with our federal partners,” said Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins. “This DOJ grant to test backlogged rape kits supports victims and promotes increased public safety for everyone.”
“Reducing the backlog of untested sexual assault kits is a complex issue that requires a comprehensive, evidence-based and community-supported approach to resolve,” said Director Denise O’Donnell of the Bureau of Justice Assistance. “These grants provide resources and improve processes to test kits, provide training to law enforcement personnel, and improve the justice system while providing justice and resolution to the victims of sexual assault.”
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