(STL.News) – U.S. Attorney Robert M. Duncan, Jr., announced on Monday two separate grants of Department of Justice funds that were awarded to recipients in the Eastern District of Kentucky.
U.S. Attorney Duncan announced $1.5 million in Department of Justice grants to the Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet, to help law enforcement agencies and crime labs process sexual assault evidence and increase the number of sexual assault kits submitted to crime labs in order to solve more crimes, including cold cases, in the Eastern District of Kentucky. The grants, awarded by the Department’s Office of Justice Programs, are part of more than $45 million in funding to support the National Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI).
OJP’s Bureau of Justice Assistance made 36 grants to strengthen jurisdictions’ capacity to act on evidence resulting from rape kits, and three grants to the Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence ‒ Inventory, Tracking and Reporting (SAFE-ITR) program.
“Far too many people endure the physical and emotional trauma of a sexual assault only to have evidence of the crime remain unanalyzed,” said Katharine T. Sullivan, OJP’s Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General. “These grants will help investigators get these kits to labs, where they can be tested, used to solve crimes and ultimately bring justice to victims.”
“The grant funding provided to the Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet helps further the interests of justice, by providing critical support to law enforcement and prosecutorial activities related to the testing and use of evidence in sexual assault investigations,” said U.S. Attorney Duncan. “With the additional funding, more sexual assault kits can be tested, potentially leading to evidence to assist in holding offenders accountable and providing justice to the victims of the crime.”
For a complete list of individual grant programs, award amounts, and jurisdictions that will receive funding, visit here. More information about OJP and its components can be found at www.ojp.gov.
U.S. Attorney Duncan also announced $993,018 was awarded to help fund crime laboratories, decrease DNA backlogs, support basic and applied forensic research, and help law enforcement identify missing persons. These grants, awarded by the Department’s Office of Justice Programs, are part of $192 million in funding to advance forensic science nationwide.
“Developments in forensic science have given investigators an extraordinary array of tools that can be enlisted to solve crimes and bring answers to victims and survivors, often after many years and even decades,” said Deputy Assistant Attorney General Sullivan. “These investments in crime-fighting technology, from DNA analysis to drug toxicology to forensic anthropology, will help identify and convict perpetrators, ensure justice for innocent victims and keep communities safe by deterring future criminal activity.”
“The award of these grant funds will help the Commonwealth utilize the tools necessary to further investigations, solve crimes, and bring justice to victims,” said U.S. Attorney Duncan.
Since 2004, the Office of Justice Programs has received an annual appropriation for DNA and other forensic science activities. The funding, administered through OJP’s Bureau of Justice Assistance and National Institute of Justice, supports DNA analysis, laboratory capacity enhancement and forensic science research that provides knowledge and tools to improve the quality and practice of forensic science.
The following organizations received funding:
Commonwealth of Kentucky- $993,018
Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet- $264,698
Eastern Kentucky University- $241,305