Laboratories can use different workflows to process sexual assault kit (SAK) evidence, and the workflow is often selected based on available resources. In an era of constrained local and state budgets, this cost-benefit analysis (CBA) tool provides a critical resource that practitioners and decision-makers can use to consider investing resources toward implementing a Direct-to-DNA SAK processing approach in lieu of serology screening.
With funding from the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) under the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCoE), RTI International developed this free to use SAK processing workflow CBA tool to help laboratory personnel and decision-makers understand the cost drivers of four SAK processing workflows, impacts on laboratory resources, and the potential benefits to overall public safety. This tool facilitates decision-making based on individual laboratory needs, functions, and resource availability. Additionally, this tool helps users better understand financial returns for implementing SAK workflows using a Direct-to-DNA or continuous sampling approach. Further, state and local policymakers can gain insights into the possible societal benefits from using a Direct-to-DNA SAK processing approach, which could lead to obtaining increased Combined DNA Index System (CODIS)-eligible profiles and resolving cases.
The aim of this tool is to assist laboratories in evaluating the impact of modified SAK processing workflows, including a Direct-to-DNA approach and continuous sampling strategy to obtain a CODIS-eligible profile, on overall labor related-costs and CODIS results.