Commission on the Standardization of the Collection of Evidence in Sexual Assault Investigations
Minutes of Meeting
September 24, 2012
Office of the Chief State's Attorney
Rocky Hill, Connecticut
In attendance: Maureen Platt, Chairperson, Patti LaMonica, Marielle Daniels, Candida Fusco, John Leventhal, Linda Cimino, James Morgan (Office of Victim Services - OVS), Anna Fidyk (OVS), Denise Covington, Laura Cordes
The meeting was called to order at 3:05 p.m.
A Motion to approve the minutes of the meeting held on June 18, 2012, was made and approved (Lamonica/Fusco).
A grant has been obtained to produce a new video explaining the role of the Commission, collection of evidence in sexual assault cases and the importance of the Technical Guidelines. A discussion was held regarding the need to establish a sub-committee for this purpose.
Denise Covington provided a Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner/Sexual Assault Forensic Nurse (SAFE/SANE) update. She stated that the program has been activated 158 times since January 2012, and a total of 338 times since its inception. Two more training courses are about to start. Ms Covington stated that Planned Parenthood has agreed to provide locations for clinical examinations and trainings.
Ms Covington also discussed the following possible changes to the Technical Guidelines:
- including a separate page for diagrams;
- including a narrative page;
- changing the location of the "law enforcement signature"; and
- Standardizing "release of information" forms.
A subcommittee of Linda Cimino, Denise Covington and Candida Fusco was created to recommend changes regarding these issues.
A need for some type of survey to access the impact of the SAFE program was discussed.
A discussion was held regarding the custody of the Sexual Assault Kits. The State Lab has agreed to store all such evidence. The importance of encouraging law enforcement agencies to transport the kits to the Las as soon as possible was discussed. It was agreed that the Commission should reach out to the Police Chief Association to encourage all departments to expedite the transfer of the kits to the State Lab.
Linda Cimino discussed the importance of standardizing reimbursement rates for examinations conducted pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes 19a-112a. Due to the increase in the number of kits being processed, and the increase in the number of forensic interviews, the OVS must carefully monitor the expenditure of funds in order to prevent a deficit and operate within their budget. Dr. Leventhal stated that any reduction of reimbursement rates should be carefully analyzed. It was agreed that a special meeting should be held on November 5, 2012, from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m. at the Office of the Chief State's Attorney, 300 Corporate Place, Rocky Hill, to discuss this very important issue. Linda Cimino stated that she would be providing information in advance of the meeting for review by all Commission members.
The meeting was adjoined at 4:40 p.m.
- November 5, 2012 (3:00 - 4:30 p.m.) Special Meeting to discuss rate changes at OCSA.
- December 20, 2012 (3:00 - 4:30 p.m.) Regular Meeting OCSA - Please bring your calendars to set 2013 meeting schedule.