U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

The NIJ-FBI Sexual Assault Kit Partnership -- A Research Initiative for Unsubmitted Sexual Assault Kits

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 2016
3 pages
This report summarizes the features of the U.S. Department of Justice's (DOJ's) National Institute of Justice's (NIJ's) and the FBI's partnership in implementing a research initiative for addressing the nationwide problem of backlogs of sexual assault kits that have not been submitted to crime labs for analysis.
Under this NIJ-FBI partnership, the FBI will be a centralized testing laboratory for sexual assault kits to be submitted from the nation's law enforcement agencies and public forensic laboratories. Each month, the FBI Laboratory will process and test a limited number of previously unsubmitted sexual assault kits, and scientists at NIJ will collect and analyze data about the kits. The project's goal is to produce a better understanding of the issues surrounding the handling of sexual assault kits and suggest ways to improve the collection and processing of quality DNA evidence contained in these kits. In addition, NIJ will collect information from the program as a means of informing training practices and testing protocols for sexual assault kits, as well as improve the quality and practices for collecting evidence and processing sexual assault kits. This report also provides answers to various questions related to this initiative. Subjects addressed include why kits have not been submitted for testing, eligibility for submitting a kit to the FBI Laboratory, and procedures for submitting kits. Online access is provided to three videos about this NIJ-FBI partnership.

Date Published: January 1, 2016