As part of our OVW-funded project to ensure a victim-centered response to the problem of backlogged and untested sexual assault kits (SAKs), the National Center has been collecting written protocols or polices from jurisdictions across the country. We hope that sharing them helps communities who are now developing victim notification polices.
To locate these policies, National Center staff made contact with over 30 cold case units across the country and colleagues in jurisdictions that are facing large numbers of untested sexual assault kits (SAKs). We also sent out a “Call to the Field” for policies and protocols. We received a few documents we consider a formal “policy” or “protocol” (see Denver, Phoenix and Alameda County, CA for example).
We also received related materials such as letters that are sent to victims when the case can’t be prosecuted (see Dallas), letters to probation and parole about a DNA cold hit involving an inmate (see Missouri), and a manual for investigating sexual assault crimes that had some helpful information about working with victims (see Baltimore and the University of Texas).
We are working with several communities that are creating victim notification policies right now. As those become available, they will be posted here. And we are continuing to contact cold case units in quest of models and samples to share.
If you would like to share a victim-related policy, protocol, or other SAK backlog-related materials, please email Ilse Knecht, project director, at email@example.com.
View the documents here.
To learn about victims’ views on notification, read our Victim Roundtable Report.