Kentucky's SAFE Kit Backlog
Kentucky received a $1.9 million grant in 2015 to analyze up to 3,300 untested sexual assault kits at a private laboratory and try to match DNA found in the kits to perpetrators and unsolved crimes. The grant funding, provided by the District Attorney of New York County (DANY), is part of a broader, $79 million effort to clear backlogs in cities and states across the country.
A subgroup consisting of advocates, law enforcement, prosecutors and the Attorney General's office reviewed best practices from other jurisdictions and determined protocols for notifying ALL sexual assault survivors whose kits are tested. The team developed resources to assist law enforcement and advocates.
Experts on investigating and prosecuting cold case sexual assaults also are helping to train and guide Kentucky's law enforcement and Commonwealth's Attorneys.
Results of the effort will be tracked and analyzed.
An investigation by the State Auditor in 2015 found there were 3,090 untested sexual assault kits on the shelves of local law enforcement agencies and at the KSP forensic laboratory. The grant will be used to test these kits at private vendor laboratory Sorenson Forensics in Utah.
KSP began sending kits in batches of about 60 in May 2016. The lab started receiving results from Sorenson in August 2016. KSP analyzes and verifies the results and uploads any DNA profiles obtained during the analysis into the state and national DNA databases.
A DANY Grant Task Force was formed to oversee the process and guide the survivor notifications, investigations and prosecutions. It meets periodically to receive updates on the testing and makes recommendations.
SAFE kits in storage at the Louisville Metro Police Department.