DOJ Press Release letterhead

  • Wednesday, October 27, 2010
  • Contact: Office of Justice Programs
  • Telephone: (202) 307-0703

Weekly News Brief

White House Announces Effort to Address Backlog of Untested Sexual Assault Kits-Today, as part of an event to commemorate Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the White House announced a major initiative, sponsored by OJP's National Institute of Justice, to identify long term solutions to the backlog of untested sexual assault kits that have not yet been submitted to a crime laboratory. The first phase in this effort will be the awarding of up to $200,000 to "action research" teams in up to five jurisdictions that currently have a backlog of 500 or more untested sexual assault kits. The jurisdictions receiving these awards will use the funds to create teams composed of researchers, law enforcement, crime lab directors, prosecutors and victim advocates, who will audit their jurisdiction's rape kit backlog. The teams will explore the reasons for the backlog and then develop a plan to tackle the problem. In the second phase of the project, NIJ will award up to $4 million for sites to implement their plans.

Attorney General Holder Announces VALOR Initiative, Other Officer Safety and Smart Policing Efforts at IACP meeting-In his remarks on Tuesday, October 26, at the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Conference in Orlando, Fla., Attorney General Eric Holder unveiled the Department of Justice's new Preventing Violence Against Law Enforcement and Ensuring Officer Resilience and Survivability (VALOR) initiative. The VALOR initiative was created to reduce and prevent law enforcement officer line of duty injuries and deaths by training officers in techniques for approaching violent encounters. In addition to the VALOR initiative grant, the Department's Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) awarded $467,312 to IACP to launch the Center for the Prevention of Violence Against the Police, which is designed to serve as a clearinghouse for information and analysis about injury and violence against law enforcement officers in order to reduce the number of felonious assaults on officers, reduce costs to governments, and increase community safety. All together, the Department of Justice has committed more than $40 million for officer safety programs in Fiscal Year 2010. This includes more than $30 million to reimburse law enforcement agencies for the purchase of body armor, respond to line of duty deaths, enhance deconfliction efforts and boost technology development. A blog about BJA's officer safety portfolio by James H. Burch, II, BJA's Acting Director can be found at:

Bureau of Justice Statistics Releases 2009 Statistical Tables for Background Checks for Firearm Transfers-These statistical tables detail the number of firearm transaction applications checked by state points of contact and local agencies, the number of applications denied and the reasons for denial, and estimates of applications and denials conducted by each type of approval system. Data are also provided on appeals of denied applications and arrests for falsified applications.

Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) Issues E-publication about Identity Theft and Financial Fraud-This publication showcases the efforts of four OVC grantees (Identity Theft Resource Center, Atlanta Victim Assistance, Maryland Crime Victims' Rights Center, and Victims Initiative for Counseling, Advocacy, and Restoration of the Southwest) to expand the reach of their services to victims of identity theft and fraud. The publication includes practical tools for service providers and self-help materials for victims.