Statewide SART Advisory Committee Releases 2015 Recommendations

The Statewide SART has been working since August 2014 via conference call, email and at in-person meetings to research and compile recommendations for the 2015 year.  In existence since 2008, the Statewide SART Advisory Committee has had a significant impact on best practices for teams in Florida.  The 2015 recommendations built upon past work in the form of Subcommittees including Victim Services, Law Enforcement and Forensics. 

The Forensics Subcommittee’s worked during the 2014-2015 year to further identify “best practice” recommendations for the State of Florida agencies regarding the collection, storage, and testing of evidence gathered from survivors of sexual assault. The subcommittee produced three main recommendations: physical evidence recovery kit directions for suspects, a sample of what a PERK should contain, and forensic exam model facility recommendations.

The Victim Services Subcommittee focused on expanding resources, sample documents and suggested activities for individual SARTs.  In particular, the Victim Services Subcommittee developed a SART development slide presentation that can be used by individuals interested in initiating a SART in their community. Members drew upon their experiences in their own communities as well as on input from state and national resources to develop more hands-on approaches to SART development and retention.  The Victim Services Subcommittee also served as a sounding board for some of the legislative initiatives that FCASV took on in the spring.

The Law Enforcement Subcommittee developed and delivered an eight-hour in-person training on trauma informed sexual assault investigations for law enforcement officers.  Trauma informed investigations have gained traction across the country as law enforcement agencies are realizing the benefits of working with survivors of sexual violence in a different way.  FCASV staff and allied professionals will continue to provide this training in the 2015-2016 year.

View the Full 2015 Recommendations Here

Members of the Statewide SART Advisory Committee for the 2014-2015 Year Include:

Melissa Ashton, MSW
Director, Victim Advocacy Program
Florida State University

Clinical Forensic Nurse Examiner, Independent Instructor and Consultant

Dr. Wade Barnes, MD
North Florida OB-GYN Associates

Nicole Bishop, MSW
Director, Justice Services and Victim Services & Rape Crisis Center
Palm Beach County Victim Services and Rape Crisis Center

David Brand
Law Enforcement Coordinator
Florida Sheriffs Association

Hon. John L. Burns
County Judge
Charlotte County Justice Center

Catherine Cothran, MS, F-ABC
Senior Forensic Scientist
Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office

Sgt. William T. Crews
Alachua County Sheriff’s Office

Jennifer Dritt, LCSW (LA)
Executive Director
Florida Council Against Sexual Violence

Lorraine Elder, MSW
Program Administrator
Sexual Violence Prevention Program, Florida Department of Health

Michelle English
Executive Director
Project Help

Grace Frances
Director, Certification and Special Projects
Florida Council Against Sexual Violence

Captain Eric Garcia
Criminal Investigations Division
Miami-Dade Police Department

Susan Garcia, MSW
Special Victims Bureau Victim Advocate
Miami-Dade Police Department

Christina Harris
Bureau Chief
Florida Office of the Attorney General Advocacy and Grants Management

LeAndra Higginbotham, Ph.D.
Crime Laboratory Analyst Supervisor – Toxicology
Florida Department of Law Enforcement

Concetta Holmes, LCSW, CA
Victim Advocate Coordinator
Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office

Sgt. Richard Mankewich
Major Case/Sex Crimes Squad
Orange County Sheriff’s Office

Tabitha McDonald
Government Affairs Coordinator
Florida Sheriffs Association

Theresa Prichard, Esq.
Director, Advocacy and Legal Assistance to Victims
Florida Council Against Sexual Violence

Marcella F. Scott
Crime Laboratory Analyst Supervisor – Biology
Florida Department of Law Enforcement

Return to Insight Summer 2015