U.S. Department of Justice awards Washington State nearly $5.3 million for testing backlog of sexual assault kits
Federal grant money to Washington State Patrol and Attorney General to reduce testing backlog at state labs
Seattle – U.S. Attorney Brian T. Moran announced today that the Washington State Patrol and the State Attorney General’s Office received four grants totaling nearly $5.3 million to reduce the backlog of untested rape kits and improve the scientific capacity of the state crime labs.
“In my long career as a prosecutor, I saw first-hand the value of DNA evidence to solve crimes and get violent predators off the street,” said U.S. Attorney Moran. “DOJ understands that we cannot leave untested evidence languishing in storage. These funds will help Washington keep up with the scientific advances in DNA that can both identify the guilty and exonerate the innocent.”
The Washington State Attorney General’s Office was awarded two grants: $1.5 million is directed at inventorying, testing and tracking unsubmitted rape kits and an additional $1 million was awarded to expand the collection of DNA from offenders and its submission to the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS).
The Washington State Patrol was awarded two grants totaling more than $2.7 million. The largest grant, $1,857,667 is to increase the capacity of all the WSP crime labs, including equipping a new DNA section in the Vancouver, Washington crime lab. One goal of the grant is to reduce the backlog of cases. The second WSP lab grant for $920,951 is aimed at digitizing and storing some 480,000 case records currently archived in off-site storage so that they can more easily be accessed for investigation.
The grants were awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance and the National Institute of Justice.
For additional information on individual grants, please contact the recipient organizations.