CJCC Receives $3M Grant from the National Sexual Assault Kit Initiative
Atlanta, GA — The Georgia Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC), in partnership with many state and local stakeholders, is pleased to announce it has received a $3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) National Sexual Assault Kit Initiative. These funds will support the enhancement of Georgia’s initiatives to best serve survivors of sexual assault through a coordinated and victim-centered response.
Specifically, funding from this grant will be used to provide coordination among criminal justice system agencies and victim service providers to address the challenges faced by jurisdictions across the state of Georgia in handling sexual assault kits; enhance existing sexual assault policies for all agencies and organizations within the state that respond to sexual assault crimes; reduce the number of unsubmitted sexual assault kits stored across jurisdictions (if any); continue to develop sound protocols for the handling and submission of sexual assault kits; and create a Metro Atlanta Sexual Assault Task Force to address the downstream investigations and prosecutions of cold case sexual assaults that have resulted from testing of previously unsubmitted or untested sexual assault kits.
CJCC Executive Director, Jay Neal, says he is grateful Georgia was awarded this funding. “This funding allows us to enhance our comprehensive and coordinated efforts to ensure Georgia does not ever have a backlog of sexual assault kits again. By implementing uniform protocols across Georgia and by assisting jurisdictions with the prosecution of cold case sexual assaults, we are holding offenders accountable, and ultimately, making communities in Georgia safer for citizens.”
BJA awards grants through a competitive process. This award was made in response to BJA’s FY 17 National Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI): Comprehensive Approach to Unsubmitted Sexual Assault Kits solicitation. CJCC completed the application with the following partner agencies: the Atlanta Police Department, the Cobb County District Attorney’s Office, the DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office, the DeKalb County Police Department, the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office, and the Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) State Expert Committee.
In addition to the resources that will be developed from the National Sexual Assault Kit Initiative grant, CJCC has created a resource website to provide assistance to survivors of sexual assault who believe their sexual assault kit may not have been previously tested. Survivors can visit notify.svrga.org to communicate their preferences regarding notification of reopened investigations and prosecutions. This Sexual Assault Kit Victim Notification Portal was supported by grant # 2014-WE-AX-0032 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice to CJCC.
About the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC)
Created by the Georgia General Assembly in 1981 as an Executive Branch agency, the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC) represents the culmination of many efforts to establish a statewide body that would build consensus and unity among the State's diverse and interdependent, criminal justice system components. For more information visit the CJCC website: https://cjcc.georgia.gov/.
About the Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) State Expert Committee
The State Expert Committee is comprised of multi-disciplinary sexual assault experts from across Georgia including advocates, law enforcement personnel, prosecutors, judges and state agencies including the Department of Health and the Department of Corrections. The committee’s role is to advise and support the project’s Core Partners in providing guidance to SARTs in Georgia’s 49 judicial circuits.
Samantha Wolf – Communications and External Affairs Director | Atlanta | 404/657-1958