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August 18, 2017 5:00 pm

Comment Deadline: DOJ Proposed New Information Collection Activity; Comment Request, Proposed Study Entitled “Evaluation of the Bureau of Justice Assistance Sexual Assault Kit Initiative”

  • Government
  • Agency
  • Genetics/Genomics

The Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Justice Programs, National Institute of Justice, will be submitting the following information collection request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

Sexual assault kits (SAKs) are invaluable tools used in investigations to collect evidence such as DNA and to document injuries from alleged victims; this evidence in turn is used to identify and prosecute offenders and to exonerate innocent suspects. Despite the importance of SAKs, backlogs of unsubmitted and untested kits have emerged in jurisdictions across the country (e.g., Peterson and Hickman, 2005; Strom et al., 2009). The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) established the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) to provide assistance to jurisdictions who are addressing these issues. In FY 2015, 20 sites were funded through SAKI to engage in reforms intended to improve the national response to sexual assault cases.

The objectives of the current study are to conduct an evaluability assessment of all 20 FY2015 sites to determine their readiness to participate in an evaluation of the SAKI and to develop a comprehensive and rigorous evaluation plan to ultimately determine the extent to which SAKI reforms have resulted in intended (and/or unintended) system changes. The evaluability assessment data collection process will include visits to the 20 sites, which will be comprised of individual and group interviews with a maximum of 20 respondents per site.

This process is conducted in accordance with 5 CFR 1320.10. Written comments and suggestions from the public and affected agencies concerning the proposed collection of information are encouraged. Your comments should address one or more of the following four points:

—Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the National Institute of Justice, including whether the information will have practical utility;

—Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

—Evaluate whether, and if so how, the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected can be enhanced; and

—Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

More information is available via the Federal Register notice.