Congressmen Cohen Announces $2 Million for Rape Kit Testing

October 14, 2020
Press Release
Has led initiative to increase spending on backlog


MEMPHIS – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09), a senior member of the House Judiciary Committee, today announced a Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance National Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) grant of $2 million to the City of Memphis. Over the past decade, Congressman Cohen has been a leader in efforts to increase spending under the initiative, and Memphis has receive substantial resources under the program. At its peak, the rape kit backlog reached 12,000 untested kits in Memphis alone with an estimated 400,000 sitting in evidence rooms nationwide. In 2015, Memphis received nearly $2 million and, in 2017, it received just over $1 million from this program to  reduce its rape kit backlog.

Congressman Cohen made the following statement:

“Justice delayed is justice denied.  I am pleased that Memphis will be receiving this grant funding to help ensure that rape kits get processed. DNA analysis is a powerful weapon against sexual assailants, but it can’t do any good when rape kits don’t get processed. This grant will help the City of Memphis and our local law enforcement track down assailants and help victims get justice. I will continue fighting in Congress to ensure that sexual assailants are brought to justice.”

Congressman Cohen has worked successfully through the years with Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney of New York and others to increase SAKI program funding by millions of dollars through the appropriations process.