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Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) GranteeCity of Memphis (Tennessee)

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In FY2015, SAKI awarded the City of Memphis grants in the amount of $1.9 million. Memphis has used these funds to test unsubmitted sexual assault kits (SAKs) dating back to the 1970s, provide training, fund travel for expert witnesses, purchase equipment and an evidence management system, and provide victim support services.

The City of Memphis received an additional $1,071,394 in SAKI funding in FY2017. This funding has been be used to accomplish the following:

  • Expand investigatory and analytical capacity by providing overtime for investigators, hiring part-time data entry staff, and purchasing new equipment.
  • Hire a SAKI counseling coordinator to oversee staff training in cognitive processing therapy.
  • Share hotline information and engage in outreach to encourage victims to check the status of their SAKs.
  • Maintain victim advocacy positions.

In FY2018, the City of Memphis received $1.5 million from SAKI to submit their partially tested SAKs for testing. They also used this money to add a crime analyst, to assist investigators and prosecutors with their caseloads, and hire a research partner to help evaluate outcomes and develop metrics to regularly update the multidisciplinary task force.

The City of Memphis received $1,899,781 in SAKI funds in FY2019 to continue their ongoing work. With this funding, they will test partially tested SAKs and secondary evidence and also expand testing to all types of DNA, including familial DNA. Additionally, the City of Memphis will use this new funding to assess case outcomes based on testing methodology and type of evidence.

The City of Memphis received $2 million in SAKI funds in FY2020 to continue DNA testing of previously unsubmitted SAKs and relevant secondary evidence. They will also use this new funding to (1) add strategic personnel to assist with processing and tracking SAKs and (2) continue to fund their research partner.

For more information on the specific SAKI awards for this site, see the table below.

City of Memphis Funding

Year Amount Purpose Area
FY2015 $1,909,124 Comprehensive Approach to Unsubmitted Sexual Assault Kits
FY2017 $1,071,394 Comprehensive Approach to Unsubmitted Sexual Assault Kits
FY2018 $1,500,000 Comprehensive Approach to Unsubmitted Sexual Assault Kits
FY2019 $1,899,781 Comprehensive Approach to Unsubmitted Sexual Assault Kits
FY2020 $2,000,000 Comprehensive Approach to Unsubmitted Sexual Assault Kits

Please direct all media inquiries to:

City of Memphis (Tennessee) Grantee Site Representatives

News and Events

Memphis police say all untested rape kits will be sent to lab within 6 months
Kendall Downing, WBRC Fox 6 News, Jan 17, 2017
The last of Memphis, Tennessee's unsubmitted rape kits will be sent to the lab for testing within the first 6 months of 2017. As of December 2013, there were more than 12,000 untested kits. From the kits testing already, 1,728 investigations have been opened, and 385 remain active. In court, so far 12 defendants have been found guilty, 1 found not guilty, 11 trials set, and 139 cases pending in criminal court. To learn more, read the full article.

Testing backlogged rape kits yields 200 indictments
WMC Action News 5, Oct 19, 2016
Two hundred criminals were indicted after Memphis, Tennessee law enforcement personnel tested more than half of their rape kits. In late 2014, the Memphis Police Department discovered thousands of untested rape kits in a storage facility. Currently, 56% of the kits have been tested and resulted in 200 indictments, of which 133 have named suspects and 67 have DNA matches. Read the full article to learn more.

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Our Mission

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.

This Web site is funded in whole or in part through a grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Neither the U.S. Department of Justice nor any of its components operate, control, are responsible for, or necessarily endorse, this Web site (including, without limitation, its content, technical infrastructure, and policies, and any services or tools provided).

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