September 11, 2015 08:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time
SALT LAKE CITY–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Sorenson Forensics, one of the leading commercial forensics labs in the country, was named as one of only two preferred forensic DNA laboratories in the country to participate in a $38 million grant from the New York County District Attorney’s Office (DANY) yesterday as part of the office’s Sexual Assault Kit Backlog Elimination Program. This money has has been set aside to help mitigate rape kit backlog. DANY is working in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Justice, which also announced $41 million yesterday to support its National Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI). Funds from the two grants will be made available to qualified police departments and crime labs across the country in support of efforts to reduce the backlog of sexual assault kits.
By offering our proprietary processing services to public crime labs and law enforcement agencies across the country, we hope to increase efficiency and save both time and money for participating labs and agencies throughout this initiative
As a preferred private vendor listed in the DANY grant, Sorenson Forensics will offer a discounted flat rate on all processing services to grant recipients that opt to contract with the Utah-based lab to process their kits. The DANY grant will support 32 jurisdictions in 20 states, estimated to facilitate the processing of more than 56,000 sexual assault kits. Award amounts ranged from $163,590 to the Flint Police Department in Michigan, which will test approximately 246 kits, to almost $2 million for the Kentucky State Police Forensic Laboratories, which will test more than 3,300 kits.
“We’re honored that the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office sees Sorenson Forensics as a critical partner in this effort to reduce sexual assault kit backlogs,” said Cami Green, sales manager at Sorenson Forensics. “By offering our proprietary processing services to public crime labs and law enforcement agencies across the country, we hope to increase efficiency and save both time and money for participating labs and agencies throughout this initiative.”
While grant recipients are not required to outsource the processing of their kits to a commercial forensic DNA lab such as Sorenson Forensics, it is expected that many will utilize one of the private labs listed in the grant because of the designated flat rate pricing and the capabilities that a dedicated forensic DNA lab offers. Sorenson Forensics provides a variety of proven, advanced services that allow for the identification of human identity, familial relationship and ancestral history.
Sorenson Forensics has processed rape kits for TNT’s Cold Justice and Cold Justice: Sex Crimes reality crime shows, and recently completed a partnership with the Michigan State Police to process more than 4,000 kits as part of a $4 million grant from the Michigan Legislature. This, however, will be its first involvement in such an expansive nationwide initiative.
“Building meaningful pathways for private- and public-sector organizations to cooperate on initiatives like these are critical to making significant reductions to DNA backlogs and ensuring best practices are shared throughout the forensic community,” said Doug Fogg, President and COO of Sorenson Forensics. “The fact that government officials are willing to make this grant money available shows the importance of reducing DNA backlogs across the country, and the need to encourage public labs and law enforcement agencies to consider outsourcing DNA casework.”
More information about the Sexual Assault Kit Backlog Elimination program can be found at https://manhattanda.org/press-release/district-attorney-vance-awards-38-million-grants-help-32-jurisdictions-20-states-test.
About Sorenson Forensics
Sorenson Forensics (www.sorensonforensics.com) is a leading provider of advanced forensic DNA services and offers industry-best casework assistance to federal, state and local crime laboratories, assists officers of the court in individual criminal cases, and offers comprehensive forensic DNA services to private industry clients. Sorenson Forensics provides services, such as STR and Y-STR analysis; mitochondrial DNA sequencing; comprehensive biology screening; full serology testing, including blood, semen and other body fluid identification; DNA case consultation; expert testimony, validation services and laboratory optimization services. The Sorenson Forensics team consists of individuals internationally recognized for their extensive public and private crime lab experience and for their rigor in the exacting requirements of forensics casework. Sorenson Forensics has established an extraordinary record for helping to crack difficult-to-resolve cases, including previously unsolved “cold cases.” Contact us to see what we can do for you, and follow us on Facebook.