Montana SAKI Project

The Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) is enhancing the criminal justice system’s response to sexual assault and ensuring justice for victims.

What is the Montana SAKI Project?

In 2016, the Montana Department of Justice was chosen as one of twenty recipients in the country of the National Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) Grant and received $2,000,000 from the Bureau of Justice Assistance. This money will be used to test previously unsubmitted sexual assault kits, strengthen victim services, prevent revictimization, and develop recommendations to help prevent future build up of kits.

This project examines the issue of previously unsubmitted sexual assault kits in Montana. The Montana DOJ Division of Criminal Investigation has surveyed the state’s law enforcement community to determine how many of these kits exist in Montana. SAKI is testing the kits and tracking them through the system. It is important to all involved in the project that survivors of sexual assault receive appropriate services.

Project Goals and Objectives

  • Reduce victimization
  • Encourage reporting of sexual assault
  • Increase survivor services/support
  • Use science and technology to prevent crime and bring offenders to trial
  • Identify and charge repeat offenders
  • Eliminate factors adding to the buildup of sexual assault kits
  • Create best practice recommendations and standards for sexual assault cases
  • Implement standard policies to reduce unnecessary inventory of Sexual Assault Kits
  • Improve and increase statewide sexual assault case trainings available for law enforcement and prosecution
  • Encourage communication between criminal justice agencies and advocates to ensure support for survivors of sexual assault

Frequently Asked Questions

Why haven’t some sexual assault kits been submitted?

Sexual assault kits are not submitted for many different reasons, and policies regarding submission vary among jurisdictions. Some of the reasons kits were not previously submitted for DNA include: The accused person pled guilty, and no kit was needed to prove the case; law enforcement investigation did not result in charges and/or prosecution was declined; the survivor chose to discontinue their involvement in the case; and often, it is due to a lack of resources and training for all involved to understand the importance of testing sexual assault kits to identify repeat offenders and link cases together.

Why is my sexual assault kit getting tested now?

The Montana Department of Justice recognized the importance of examining previously unsubmitted sexual assault kits in our state. Research and case experience supports the value of collecting and testing sexual assault evidence. Advances in science and technology can be leveraged to the benefit of these investigations more today than ever before. Cases may be linked and serial offenders identified, which may prevent subsequent assault. For further information regarding your case, we encourage you to contact our SAKI Information Hotline at 888-548-5463.

What is being done to prevent the build up of sexual assault kits in the future?

To address an issue that has evolved over time is a very complex process and it continues to be a work in progress. The SAKI team is works with a multidisciplinary team of subject matter experts to review current practices, identify where change is needed, and develop a path forward. This is a systemic approach that will take time while they continue to be mindful of the needs the criminal justice community has for forensic laboratory services in the State of Montana.

Interpreting CODIS Results

Program Resources

Contact Us

SAKI Hotline: 888-548-5463

Please use the form below to contact an advocate with SAKI Montana, and we will contact you as soon as possible. Please let us know the best way to reach you, and if it is okay to send an email or leave a voice message with the provided contact information. If you would like to opt-in or opt-out of case information, use the contact information provided to let the SAKI Advocate know.
  • Although your information is kept confidential within the criminal justice system, please do not submit sensitive information that should be legally protected through this contact form. This information is sent directly to the SAKI Advocate, who works as a part of a team who will work to keep you safe. Please provide contact information, and the advocate will send you separate, encrypted communication through the SAKI Email.

This project was supported by Grant No. 2016-AK-BX-K015 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 Nation-al 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.

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