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Rep. Jenkins helps secure more than $1 million to test sexual assault kits

More than $1 million to reduce backlog, ensure justice for victims

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Evan Jenkins (R-W.Va.) has helped secure a $1,170,800 grant for the West Virginia Division of Justice and Community Services from the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Sexual Assault Kit Initiative.

The grant will help the Division of Justice and Community Services address the growing number of unsubmitted sexual assault kits in West Virginia by helping form a statewide team to conduct an inventory of kits, test previously unsubmitted kits, and upload gathered information into a central database.

Both the Marshall University Forensic Science Center and the West Virginia State Police Forensic Science Laboratory are partnering with the division in this initiative.

“Assisting our law enforcement agencies in identifying criminals will help keep our communities safe. I am proud to support funding for this grant to help reduce the amount of untested sexual assault kits in West Virginia and bring justice to victims of unsolved crimes. I look forward to continuing to work with Marshall University and law enforcement officials to further support this important endeavor,” Rep. Jenkins said.

Rep. Jenkins wrote a letter of support to the U.S. Department of Justice for the grant. The letter is below.

May 28, 2015

U.S. Department of Justice
Bureau of Justice Assistance
Office of Justice Programs
810 Seventh St. NW
Washington, D.C. 20531

To Whom It May Concern:

Please accept this letter in support of the West Virginia Division of Justice and Community Service’s application for grant funding under the fiscal year 2015 National Sexual Assault Kit Initiative.

The division is partnering with the West Virginia State Police Forensic Science Laboratory, the Marshall University Forensic Science Center, the West Virginia Foundation for Rape Information and Services and the West Virginia Prosecuting Attorney’s Institute to apply for funding to establish a Bureau of Justice Assistance model to address the growing number of unsubmitted sexual assault kits in West Virginia. It is believed that many sexual assault kits are unaccounted for every year, and my understanding is that funding through this grant would be used to form a statewide team to conduct an inventory of kits, test previously unsubmitted kits, and upload gathered information into a central database.

It is my hope that you will give the division’s application the utmost consideration and do not hesitate to contact me should you any questions.

Sincerely,

Evan Jenkins
Member of Congress

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