Manhattan District Attorney Seeks Input from Jurisdictions with Rape Kit Backlog

Last month, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. announced his commitment of $35 million to eliminate the backlog of untested sexual assault kits. This grant initiative is going to provide much needed funding to jurisdictions lacking the resources to test their rape kits; thanks to the DA’s office, thousands of survivors will have a chance of seeing perpetrators of rape brought to justice. 

As the Manhattan DA’s office continues to develop their grant program, they are now looking for input by key stakeholders of jurisdictions with untested rape kits. Please see below for the solicitation from the DA’s office, and share with any other parties that may be interested. [Update: The deadline for expressions of interest closed on Feb. 1, 2015. You can see the original solicitation from the DA's office below.]

Dear Colleagues,

Last month, my Office pledged up to $35 million in funding to eliminate backlogs of untested sexual assault evidence kits, or "rape kits," using asset forfeiture funds secured through recent sanctions cases. Although the numbers vary, it is estimated that hundreds of thousands of rape kits sit untested across the country. I invite you to read more about the initiative, for which we will release a request for proposals in Spring 2015.

In order to develop the most effective grant program, we are soliciting the input of stakeholders across the country in jurisdictions with untested rape kits. We are asking all local government bodies, police departments, prosecutor's offices, and forensic laboratories with untested kits in police storage, laboratories, or elsewhere, to complete a brief Expression of Interest. 

Please note that responses will in no way affect those who ultimately seek grant funding. There are no "right answers" to these questions — we only ask that you respond as accurately as possible to help us develop this program. We recognize that many respondents will not have all of the information we request, so we welcome partial completion of answers. Any insight you are able to provide, even if anecdotal, is valuable.

Although the content of responses will not affect our award decisions, we will offer priority review to proposals by those who submitted an Expression of Interest.

To begin, please click here.

Expression of Interest forms must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. on February 1, 2015.

I sincerely thank you for your participation. We value your time and contributions, which will help us create the most effective grant program. Please feel free to direct any questions to DNAbacklog@dany.nyc.gov.

Sincerely,

Cyrus R. Vance, Jr.

Manhattan District Attorney

 

-December 19th, 2014

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