Connecticut's Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP) has worked with key partners to test all unsubmitted sexual assault kits (SAKs), except for those that are anonymous. DESPP has implemented a holistic, victim-centered approach and created a working group that identifies and addresses the various factors that lead to high numbers of unsubmitted SAKs in Connecticut.
DESPP utilized their original SAKI funding of $1,401,966 in FY2015 to achieve several goals and milestones, including testing 70% of their identified SAKs. This testing yielded 259 DNA profiles eligible for the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) and 75 CODIS hits.
DESPP received additional SAKI funding in FY2017 for $1,847,559, which went towards analyzing workflow and helping design policies and procedures that improve SAK handling across the stateincluding investigation, prosecution, and victim notification. The additional funding also allowed DESPP to investigate and prosecute more cases in which SAKs were only partially tested.
With DESPP's FY2019 grant of $1,488,202, they conducted additional testing on secondary evidence in sexual assault cases. They also continued to fund their victim notification coordinator and site coordinator positions. They were able to fund their SAK tracking software, overtime pay, and outsourcing of cases.
In FY2021, DESPP received an additional grant of $1,971,259. They plan to use this funding to upgrade their evidence tracking software, increase the capacity of their laboratory's DNA section, and continue to fund their victim notification coordinator position.
In FY2022, DESPP was awarded a $1.2 million grant to develop and implement a sustainability plan. This funding will be utilized to develop an Annual SAK Inventory Policy to ensure timely submission of SAKs for testing, develop potential legislative changes, enhance existing sexual assault response policies, establish mandatory training for law enforcement personnel, and require regular convening of multidisciplinary working groups in local jurisdictions.
For more information on the specific SAKI awards for this site, see the table below.
|FY2015||$1,401,966||Comprehensive Approach to Unsubmitted Sexual Assault Kits|
|FY2017||$1,847,559||Comprehensive Approach to Unsubmitted Sexual Assault Kits|
|FY2019||$1,488,202||Comprehensive Approach to Unsubmitted Sexual Assault Kits|
|FY2021||$1,971,259||Comprehensive Approach to Unsubmitted Sexual Assault Kits|
|FY2022||$1,200,000||Developing and Implementing a Sustainability Plan|
Please direct all media inquiries to:
Connecticut Secures Funding for Timely Processing of Sexual Assault Evidence Kits
NBC Connecticut, Dec 1, 2022
"The lab got its first Sexual Assault Kit Initiative grant, or SAKI grant, in 2015. That is when state lawmakers passed Public Act 15-207, requiring quick turnaround of sexual assault evidence collection kits. “We immediately went into the backlog and got rid of it,” Carreiro said. With the latest $1.2 million in federal funding, the lab will bolster personnel, buy supplies and equipment, and lead more trainings."
Governor Lamont Announces Connecticut Receives Federal Grant To Support the Timely Processing of Sexual Assault Evidence Kits
portal.ct.gov, Oct 3, 2022
"Governor Ned Lamont today announced that the Connecticut Forensic Science Laboratory, a division within the Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, has been awarded a $1.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Justice that will be used to support the timely processing of sexual assault evidence kits."
Former Manchester firefighter pleads guilty to 4 counts of sexual assault, more than 2 years after his arrest in cold cases
Hartford Courant, Jun 24, 2022
"Alleano, 49, was arrested in 2020 in connection with a string of sexual assaults dating back almost two decades. Use of DNA found at the crime scenes helped police tie Alleano to the rape of an 84-year-old woman in Manchester in August 2001, the December 2004 rape of a 57-year-old woman, the March 2007 rape of a 37-year-old Manchester resident, and in 2008, the rape of a 61-year-old woman in Vernon."
Keeping track of kits a tool against rape
Emilie Munson, CT Post, Oct 7, 2018
Connecticut has purchased a tracking system that allows victims to see where their sexual assault kit is at any time.
Funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative aims to create a coordinated community response that ensures just resolution to sexual assault cases. Through this program, funding is provided to support multidisciplinary community response teams engaged in the comprehensive reform of jurisdictions approaches to sexual assault cases resulting from evidence found in previously unsubmitted sexual assault kits.