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Scheduled Chat

   Taking on the Challenge of Unsubmitted Sexual Assault Kits
Friday, October 31 at 11:00 a.m. UTC

October 31, 2014 | 11 am Eastern time

~This is a free, online event. Registration is required.~


When a jurisdiction reveals that it has large numbers of sexual assault kits that have never been submitted to the lab, they face a number of complex, sensitive, and interconnected challenges. For example, they may need to conduct an audit to learn the nature of the cases and the extent of the numbers, they may need to handle intense scrutiny from the media and community, and they may need to find additional resources to test the kits and investigate older cases.

To better understand the problem and possible solutions, the National Institute of Justice funded multidisciplinary teams to investigate the issues in Detroit and Houston. The projects engaged key stakeholders (including police, prosecutors, victims, and victims support providers) in partnership with researchers. Together the partners explored the underlying reasons of why so many unsubmitted sexual assault kits accumulated over time and made recommendations about how best to proceed.

In this seminar, the teams will discuss the issues they grappled with: how to triage and process the testing of the kits, when and how to notify victims, and how to make policy and practice changes to both prevent future build-ups of kits and enhance the provision of justice for victims of sexual assault.


  • Rebecca Campbell, PhD, Michigan State University
  • Noel Busch-Armendariz, PhD, University of Texas at Austin
  • Bill Wells, PhD, Sam Houston State University
  • Mary Lentschke, Assistant Chief, Houston Police Department

Moderator: Bethany Backes, Social Science Analyst, National Institute of Justice, US Department of Justice

This Webinar is cosponsored by the Government Innovators Network and the National Institute of Justice.



The Road Ahead: Unanalyzed Evidence in Sexual Assault Cases (PDF)

Sexual Assault Kits Action Research Projects, interviews with the experts

Untested Evidence in Sexual Assault Cases

National Institute of Justice-FBI Research Partnership

Houston Sexual Assault Research, Sam Houston University


Future Chats

Putting Emerging and Proven Innovations to Work: Insights from the "Public Sector for the Future Summit"
Thursday, November 6 at 2:00 p.m. UTC

November 6, 2014 | 2:00 – 3:30 pm Eastern Time

~This is a free, online event. Registration is required.~


Leaders in the public sector have worked very hard to respond to the major structural and social challenges of this new era. New operating models and innovations such as shared services, lean business processes, and cross-jurisdiction collaboration have made great headway in driving government efficiency; yet more ideas and strategies are needed. We must not only do more with less, but we must also build public trust and value.

At the recent "Public Sector for the Future Summit" held at Harvard, government leaders met to delve into what’s on the “Uptake” — innovations and business models that require robust leadership to implement, yet are proven to increase effectiveness and efficiency; and what’s on the “Edge” — innovations and business models that are still emerging, yet are poised to deliver dramatic improvement in public value.

The Summit and this webinar explore Uptake and Edge innovations through multiple case studies. As cases in point, the New York City Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics is employing cutting-edge cross-agency program innovation to increase public safety, deliver services more efficiently, and protect its finances. In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, officials are applying a shared services model to government real estate in order to save money and improve facilities for government employees and citizens. And leaders in Pennsylvania are identifying and tracking key workforce trends in real time via management dashboards and linking them to planning initiatives that not only enable greater employee mobility and productivity but also help develop their future workforce.

In this webinar, panelists will share lessons learned from the "Public Sector for the Future Summit," show powerful examples from their organizations, and discuss leadership lessons on implementing Uptake and Edge innovations.


  • Kelly Powell Logan, secretary of the Pennsylvania Office of Administration
  • Nicholas O’Brien, director of the New York City Mayor’s Office of Data and Analytics
  • Pari Sabety, strategist at Accenture Public Service; former budget director of Ohio


  • Antonio Oftelie, fellow, Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences


Chat Archives

Facilitating Technology Innovation in Human Services
May 28, 2014
Conservation Innovation: Investing in Resiliency
May 7, 2014
Automated Victim Notification: The Landscape in the US
January 16, 2014
Insights on Global Collaboration: Preparing for the 2014 IUCN World Parks Congress
November 20, 2013
Legal and Financial Innovation in Land Conservation: The Next Chapter
June 19, 2013
Bringing Human Services Technology into the 21st Century: The Role of Change Management in Facilitating Innovation
April 22, 2013
Conservation Innovation: Students as Conservation Catalysts
December 5, 2012
Healthy Officers Are Safer Officers: The Nexus Between Performance & Health
September 18, 2012
Is the United States Catching Up? International and State Trends in Student Achievement
July 24, 2012
Conservation Innovation Forum: Pulling Together for the Chesapeake
June 12, 2012
Best Practices to Combat Human Trafficking: Public/Private Partnerships
May 22, 2012
Zipcar and the Sharing Economy: What Can Government Learn?
May 9, 2012
Telemedicine Center to Support Sexual Assault Evidence Collection
March 22, 2012
Conservation Innovation Forum: Meeting the Challenge
February 28, 2012
Elder Abuse Webinar Series: Innovative Research Partnerships
January 31, 2012
Conservation Innovation Forum: A Tale of Two Rivers
December 8, 2011
Best Practices to Combat Child Trafficking
November 15, 2011
Unlikeliest of Partnerships? LAPD and LA Urban League's Neighborhood-based Approach to Fighting Crime*
August 24, 2011
Globally Challenged: Are U.S. Students Ready to Compete?
August 17, 2011
Building a Culture of Innovation in Government: An Example from New York City Public Schools
August 15, 2011
The Power of Networks and Technology in Human Services Case Management
June 9, 2011
Best Practices to Combat Human Trafficking:
Combating Human Trafficking in the United States

May 25, 2011
Conservation Finance Forum
May 20, 2011
Leading for Outcomes:
Best Practices in Human Services

May 10, 2011
Social Innovation as Economic Development:
Incubate and Grow Social Enterprises in Your Community

April 19, 2011
School Reform in Detroit:
Critical Lessons in Building Community Support

April 13, 2011
Elder Abuse Series:
Forensic Markers

March 22, 2011
New Pipelines for Social Innovation
(The Power of Social Innovation Series)

March 10, 2011
Grow and Replicate!
(The Power of Social Innovation Series)

March 9, 2011
Elder Abuse Series:
Incidence and Prevalence

January 27, 2011
Conservation Finanance Forum: Lions and Tigers and Bears!
December 20, 2010
Injecting a Human Rights Approach into Anti-Trafficking Strategies:
How can we do better?

November 23, 2010
Untested Evidence in Sex Assault Cases:
Information Session for NIJ Research Solicitation

November 17, 2010
U.S. Math Performance in Global Perspective:
How well does each state do at producing high-achieving students?

November 10, 2010
Conservation Finance Forum:
Aggregation and Mitigation for Forest Conservation

September 29, 2010
Mobilization and Member-based Organizations for Social Change (The Power of Social Innovation Series)
August 12, 2010
The Mandate and Caution of Engaging the Government (The Power of Social Innovation Series)
August 3, 2010
The Role of Procurement in Social Innovation Funding (The Power of Social Innovation Series)
July 29, 2010
Engaging the Citizen as Co-Producer of Social Good (The Power of Social Innovation Series)
July 15, 2010
Conservation Finance Forum:
Wildlands and Woodlands - New England

May 27, 2010
Igniting Change in Juvenile Justice (The Power of Social Innovation Series)
May 25, 2010
Best Practices to Combat Human Trafficking in Disaster Zones
May 24, 2010
Conservation Finance Forum:
Cross-cutting Conservation at Local and Regional Scales

March 3, 2010
Combating Teen Dating Violence: Promising Research in Prevention and Intervention for Youth at-Risk
February 23, 2010
Fresh Tools for Fighting Poverty: Empowering Low-Income Americans to Build Assets
February 16, 2010
Conservation Finance Forum: Lessons from Moosehead Lake
December 8, 2009
Best Practices to Combat Human Trafficking: Forced Labor
November 16, 2009
Can You Predict Lethal Intimate Partner Violence?
November 12, 2009
Conservation Finance Forum:
Climate Change in the North American West

October 9, 2009
A Dialogue with the Drug Czar:
Crafting the Obama Drug Strategy

September 10, 2009
Parole Violations and Revocations:
Evidence-Based Responses to California in Crisis

July 8, 2009
Conservation Finance Forum:
Climate Change Adaptation and Prospects for Waxman-Markey

June 11, 2009
States Under Pressure:
Responsibly Managing Stimulus Spending

May 14, 2009
Best Practices to Combat Human Trafficking:
Collecting Data from Official Sources

April 29, 2009
Creating Your Most Effective Sustainability Strategy: What Cities and Counties Can Do
April 16, 2009
Students as Conservation Finance Catalysts
March 18, 2009
DNA Evidence and Property Crime
February 27, 2009
Sexual Assault on College Campuses
December 11, 2008
Frontiers of Conservation Finance
December 10, 2008
Sex Trafficking: Best Practices to Combat Demand
November 18, 2008
Nine Imperatives for Leadership of 311-Enabled Government
November 13, 2008
Using (Excel) .NetMap for Social Network Analysis
October 27, 2008
Choosing Success: The Lessons of East and Southeast Asia and Vietnam's Future
October 7, 2008
Sexual Violence: An International Perspective
September 25, 2008
Conservation Capital in the Americas
September 12, 2008
Sexual Violence and Evidence Collection
August 13, 2008
Sex Offender Residency Restrictions: Implementation and Impact
June 19, 2008
Important Web Resources for Conservation Finance
May 14, 2008
Combating International Sex Trafficking: Best Practices
April 15, 2008
Entrepreneurship and Urban Success: Toward a Policy Consensus
March 25, 2008
Emergency Evacuation from Major Cities
March 5, 2008
Conservation Philanthropy
February 27, 2008
Transparency: Frontiers and Failures
February 25, 2008
Sexual Victimization in Prisons: Moving Toward Elimination
February 7, 2008
Innovation through IT: How Should Leaders Plan for Emerging Technologies?
December 19, 2007
Conservation Finance Innovation
November 15, 2007
Seizing Opportunities in Green Affordable Housing
October 16, 2007
What XML Can Do For You: A Better Way to Share Criminal Justice Data
October 9, 2007
Cross-Boundary Transformation: Making It Happen with Geographic Information Systems
September 12, 2007
Think India: A Discussion with Vinay Rai
September 6, 2007
Fingerprint Identification: The Role of Research in Fortifying the Forensic Sciences
May 10, 2007
Executive Sponsorship of E-Health: Leadership for the Next Wave of Reform
April 17, 2007
The Next Generation of Homeland Security: Networked People and Processes
March 1, 2007
Eyewitness Identification: Unfinished Discussion and Directions for Future Research
February 20, 2007
Medicaid Best Buys for 2007: Promising Reform Strategies for Governors
February 5, 2007
Drug Courts Reexamined
November 13, 2006
Challenges and Opportunities in Caring for Medicare-Medicaid Dual Eligibles
November 6, 2006
Sex Trafficking in the United States
June 26, 2006
Eminent Domain One Year After Kelo: Implications for Community Development
June 20, 2006
Faith- and Community-Based Housing Development and the Role of City Hall
April 20, 2006
How City Hall and Faith-Based and Community Organizations Can Invigorate Each Other Around a Citywide Housing Agenda
February 28, 2006
From Walden to Wall Street: Frontiers of Conservation Finance
February 27, 2006
Prisoner Reentry: Facing the Challenges of Returning Home
November 9, 2005
Measuring Teacher Success: Innovative Developments in Assessing Teacher Performance
July 20, 2005
Reframing the Issues: New Ways of Talking About Affordable Housing and Smart Growth
June 9, 2005
DNA in 'Minor' Crimes Yields Major Benefits in Public Safety
May 31, 2005
Urban Property Abandonment: From Blight to Opportunity
March 15, 2005


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