Episode Ninety-Eight| Just The Sexual Assault Kit Initiative Training and Technical AssistanceLauren Mangum
Just The Sexual Assault Kit Initiative Training and Technical Assistance
The National Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI), funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, aims to create a coordinated community response that ensures justice and resolution to sexual assault cases by utilizing a comprehensive and victim-centered approach. With 54 sites nationwide, SAKI has had a significant impact on policy and practice surrounding sexual assault kit processing. In honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Just Science met with Dr. Kevin Strom and Dr. Patricia Melton of the SAKI Training and Technical Assistance project. Listen in as they discuss the SAKI TTA program, its impact, and the support SAKI TTA provides the community.
Kevin J. Strom, Phd, is a center director at RTI International, where he leads the Center for Policing Research and Investigative Science, which conducts research, technical assistance, and training across a range of topics related to policing, investigations, and forensic science. His portfolio includes projects focused in the United States as well as internationally. Dr. Strom has led projects for the U.S. Department of Justice, including studies to increase efficiencies for processing forensic evidence as well as research developing more strategic and tactical applications for 911 calls-for-service data. He currently leads the national Sexual Assault Kit Initiative Training and Technical Assistance project, which is supporting state and local jurisdictions from across the country in testing, investigating, and prosecuting cases associated with previously unsubmitted sexual assault kits. He also leads the National Crime Statistics Exchange project, an effort aimed at generating nationally representative, incident-based data on crimes reported to U.S. law enforcement agencies. Dr. Strom formerly served as project director for RTI’s contract with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to administer the National Forensic Laboratory Information System. He regularly collaborates with law enforcement agencies and serves on the research advisory boards for both the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the Police Executive Research Forum. Read more.
Patricia Melton, PhD, is nationally recognized for her work in sexual assault reform and forensic DNA analysis. She develops and implements training, technical assistance, and educational strategies that promote the derivation of polices focusing on sexual assault evidence to solve violent crimes. Dr. Melton is currently the co-director of the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) National Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) Training and Technical Assistance (TTA) project. In this capacity, she coordinates and directs the activities and deliverables that provide the requested training and technical assistance to the 32 jurisdictions awarded under the SAKI project. She also directs the implementation of the SAKI vision to additional jurisdictions addressing sexual assault reform through a nationwide promotion and education platform. Read more.