In 2015, the Atlanta Journal Constitution published an article documenting 1,500 sexual assault kits (SAKs) that were found at Grady Hospital. The Fulton County District Attorney (DA) took possession of the SAKs and submitted them to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) Crime Lab for analysis.
The Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC) received a 1.9-million-dollar grant from the District Attorney of New York (DANY) to test all untested SAKs throughout the state. The testing of these kits led to the passing of Senate Bill 304, which requires law enforcement to take possession of SAKs within 96 hours and to submit them to GBI within 30 days. As of July 2019, the backlog had been cleared with approximately 3,468 SAKs tested, approximately 1,099 CODIS eligible profiles, and approximately 440 CODIS hits.
Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) Task Force
In 2017, and again in 2020, CJCC applied for Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) grant funding to provide resources for the prosecution and investigation of cases resulting from DANY grant testing. The grant provides jurisdictions with resources to address their case backlog, including access to necessary training to increase effectiveness in addressing the complex issues associated with cases, to engage in multidisciplinary policy development, implementation, and coordination, to increase law enforcement participation in the ViCAP data base, to improve practices related to investigation, prosecution and victim engagement and support in connection with evidence and cases resulting from the testing process, and a have a co-located investigators, prosecutors and advocates. With the awarded SAKI funding, CJCC created the Georgia Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) Task Force.
The Task Force is currently comprised of:
- a SAKI coordinator who provides leadership and management,
- a SAKI assistant/data analyst,
- a Contractual criminal profiler/consultant,
- 3 Investigators (Prosecuting Attorneys' Council, Dekalb County DA, and Cobb County DA),
- 3 Prosecutors (Cobb County ADA, Dekalb County ADA, and Prosecuting Attorneys' Council ADA),
- a Community-based advocate, and
- a Dekalb County DA system-based advocate.
Assistance with Cold Cases
Help is available for Georgia law enforcement agencies and prosecuting attorneys. If you are interested in obtaining more information about how the SAKI Task Force might be able to assist your agency, you may email Emma.Wulff@cjcc.ga.gov