President Donald Trump’s U.S. Justice Department’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP) made an important announcement in the wake of the sex allegations against several political leaders and a now confirmed Supreme Court Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
While the Democratic Party has gone ballistic with unfounded accusations made against their political opponents, the Republicans , especially Attorney General Bill Barr, are actually taking action to prevent rape or other sex crimes or help victims reporting the offenses as soon as possible rather than waiting 30+ years or even 30 days. “The Democrats actually have shown their willingness to use the criminal justice system against their political opponents,” said former sex crimes unit detective, Joanne Pellegrino.
“These cases are supposed to be investigated by the local police agencies not by biased news reporters, left-wing activists and partisan politicians such as Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Chuck Schumer,” Pellegrino added.
The OJP is budgeting $145 million for an awards program to help state and local law enforcement agencies and crime labs to effectively process evidence from sex crimes, to increase the number of sexual assault kits submitted to crime labs, to determine speedier yet more accurate ways to process DNA and forensic evidence, and to connect perpetrators to rapes, acts of pedophilia, criminal sodomy and other sex crimes.
The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) has awarded close to $43 million to help the National Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI), an effort to strengthen jurisdictions’ capacity to act on evidence resulting from sexual assault kits.
“Far too many people endure the physical and emotional trauma of a sexual assault only to have evidence of the crime sit on a shelf and gather dust,” said Matt M. Dummermuth, OJP’s Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General. “These grants will help investigators get these kits to labs, where they can be analyzed and used to solve crimes and bring justice on behalf of victims.”
Since SAKI was launched, 32 jurisdictions in 26 states have inventoried more than 46,000 sexual assault kits. More than 38,000 kits have been sent for testing and there have been nearly 4,000 DNA hits to the national Combined DNA Index System, or CODIS, database, according to the DOJ press statement released on Tuesday.
“We are committed to supporting the SAKI program that empowers law enforcement to work together to identify and remove serial rapists from our streets,” said Jon Adler, Director of BJA.
So far in 2018, the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), OJP’s research unit, provided $77 million to forensic laboratories to help improve efficiency and reduce the backlogs of existing DNA evidence. This included, through NIJ’s DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Reduction Program, almost $68 million to 127 state and local jurisdictions to increase the https://youtu.be/KxThRcJl_AQcapacity of public forensic DNA laboratories.
“In spite of the best efforts of investigators, crucial evidence that can help solve sex crimes often fails to make it to crime labs for analysis,” said NIJ Director David Muhlhausen. “These grants will help state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies reduce the number of unsubmitted sexual assault kits, expand their capacity for handling forensic evidence in the future and bring resolution to sexual assault cases and a measure of justice to victims.”
Included was more about $10 million awarded through NIJ’s Forensic DNA Laboratory Efficiency Improvement and Capacity Enhancement Program to 19 states and local jurisdictions to support projects that enhance laboratories that perform forensic testing, including DNA analysis.
NIJ’s Research and Development in Forensic Science for Criminal Justice Purposes program is making 50 awards totaling almost $24 million to support the development of accurate, reliable, cost-effective, and rapid methods for the identification, analysis, and interpretation of physical evidence.