The Ingham County Prosecutor’s Office has been awarded a grant to expand and regionalize its Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) to include investigations in Jackson County.
Sexual assault investigations are complex and often involve multiple victims across jurisdictional boundaries. The existing SAKI in Ingham County has been in operation since 2017.
The Ingham County Board of Commissioners approved the acceptance of a Michigan State Police grant at its November 12 meeting. The grant amount of $268,271 will pay for the expansion of SAKI, including the salary, personnel and overhead expenses for an investigator with the Blackman-Leoni Department of Public Safety.
The expanded SAKI will be a regional collaboration managed by Ingham County Prosecutor Carol Siemon and Jackson County Prosecutor Jerard Jarzynka. Ingham and Jackson County are working to expand and improve their sexual assault prosecution, programming and services.
By investigating older cases of sexual assault, police and prosecutors will seek justice for victims/survivors and work to prevent additional assaults and improve the public safety.
Regionalized investigation with a multi-county approach is expected to enhance the quality of these complex investigations. The Blackman-Leoni Township Department of Public Safety has agreed to dedicate one investigator for Jackson County. The Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office, the Blackman-Leoni Township Board, and the Michigan Department of the Attorney General are also in support of regionalization and this amendment.