April 25, 2019

Hirono Highlights Important Role of Federal Funding in Clearing Hawaii’s Rape Kit Backlog, Building Future Testing Capacity

HONOLULU – In a visit to Honolulu Police Department (HPD) Headquarters today, Senator Mazie K. Hirono highlighted the important role federal funding played in helping Hawaii law enforcement clear a backlog of 1,500 untested rape kits statewide. In 2016, the Office of the Hawaii Attorney General successfully applied for, received, and utilized a $2 million grant under the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) to process untested rape kits over a three-year period.

“Federal funding was essential in helping Hawaii law enforcement process 1,500 rape kits that had previously gone untested,” Senator Hirono said. “Survivors of rape and sexual assault deserve swift access to justice, and I will continue to fight for federal funding that will assist local law enforcement across our country clear the testing backlog and build infrastructure to ensure that new kits are processed quickly and accurately.”

During her visit, Senator Hirono also learned more about how HPD is using a Department of Justice DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Reduction grant to improve its laboratory infrastructure and fund personnel and equipment for in-house testing of new kits.

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