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What I Wish I Knew
Thursday, April 25, 2019 5:45:00 PM UTC - 7:00:00 PM UTC
Duration: 1 hour(s) 15 minute(s)
SAKI TTA will host a webinar titled, 'What I Wish I Knew', on Thursday, April 25, 2019 from 2:00pm – 3:00pm ET. Doors will open at 1:45pm ET. 
This webinar will focus on what Jefferson County District Attorney's Office, the City of Duluth Police Department, and the West Virginia Division of Justice and Community Services have learned during their time as part of the SAKI TTA project. Each site will discuss key lessons learned over the duration of their period of performance, and the challenges that they have overcome.
Throughout the implementation of their SAKI project, the overarching lesson that Jefferson County District Attorney's Office has learned is that support and buy-in, beyond a letter of support, is needed at every level. Jefferson County has also learned the necessity of strong communication and personality management. In the midst of scarce resources, time and dedication are essential and non-renewable for sustainability and successful project implementation.
The City of Duluth Police Department (DPD) began their process of addressing over 500 previously unsubmitted sexual assault kits (SAKs) in 2015; these SAKs date back to 1993. What the City of Duluth wished they knew include the following: broader context at DPD for SAK submittal including data on the number of SAKs submitted for testing and the subsequent disposition of those cases; best practices for handling evidence in addition to the SAKs (toxicology kits, clothing/bedding, etc); the particular nature of vicarious/secondary trauma from addressing these cold cases on advocates, investigators, and prosecutors.
The West Virginia Division of Justice and Community Services will share perspectives on how they may have approached the initial workgroup membership differently, how they would have increased engagement of state partners prior to statewide expansion, and used time more efficiently while waiting on the completion of SAK inventories and testing. The presenters will discuss lessons learned in the process of developing and facilitating statewide training and community outreach; the SAKI experience from a laboratory perspective and how their vision of the project changed from the beginning to the current reality; and the importance of good communication, manageable goals and adhering to a schedule from SAK submission through tracking of SAKs to adjudication.


Multiple Presenters
Aryn Gieger-Sedgwick, SAKI Program Director, Tenth Judicial Circuit District Attorney's Office

Mary Faulkner, Sexual Assault Kit Initiative Site Coordinator, City of Duluth

Sheri Lemons, Laboratory Director, West Virginia State Police Forensic Laboratory

Christina Lipscomb, Sexual Assault Kit Initiative Victim Services Coordinator, West Virginia Foundation for Rape Information and Services (WV FRIS)

This project was supported by Grant No. 2015-AK-BX-K021 awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The Bureau of Justice Assistance is a component of the Department of Justice's Office of Justice Programs, which also includes the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Office for Victims of Crime, and the SMART Office. Points of view or opinions in this document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.