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Illinois State Police Leadership Receive ICASA Moxie Awards

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The Illinois State Police leadership, Director Brendan F. Kelly, and Deputy Director Robin Woolery have been honored with Moxie Awards by the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault for their proactive measures in handling sexual assault cases. This recognition comes after major strides under their guidance, such as clearing longstanding DNA evidence backlogs and establishing quicker processing protocols in state forensic labs. Innovations include enhanced robotics and new software, resulting in current cases being processed within 180 days. These advancements have significantly contributed to supporting victims in their pursuit of justice, underscoring Illinois’ commitment to enhancing forensic efficiency and supporting sexual assault survivors. ISP has been able to comply with the Illinois Sexual Assault Evidence Submission Act for the first time since it went into effect in 2010. ​

“I wish to congratulate Director Kelly and Deputy Director Woolery for each receiving this award and for their work on behalf of survivors,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Under their leadership, our state forensic laboratories cleared a massive backlog of DNA evidence—helping sexual assault survivors pursue justice. They also enabled our laboratories to process current cases within 180 days by hiring additional personnel, acquiring state-of-the-art robotics to speed up turnaround time, and implementing new software to make our laboratories as efficient as possible.”

ICASA gives Moxie Awards to individuals who have worked to improve services to sexual assault survivors in Illinois, through advocacy, counseling, public policy, volunteering, or other avenues. ​ Director Kelly and Deputy Director Woolery were honored for their work with the Illinois Forensic Science Commission and its impact on sexual assault investigations/cases across the state.

“ICASA is proud to recognize Illinois State Police Director Brendan Kelly with a Moxie Award,” said ICASA Chief Executive Officer Carrie Ward. ​ “Director Kelly’s leadership on the Illinois Forensic Science Commission reflects his steadfast commitment to eliminating barriers that hinder access to justice for sexual assault survivors and other victims of violent crimes.  Combined with his previous role on the prior statewide Sexual Assault Working Group while serving as St. Clair County State’s Attorney, Director Kelly continues to prove himself as both a partner and a leader in the antiviolence movement.”

Director Kelly was also recognized for his work with the Joint Sexual Assault Task Force and for his efforts in supporting rape crisis centers and improving interactions with sexual assault survivors and law enforcement.

“ICASA is pleased to recognize Robin Woolery, Deputy Director of Division of Forensic Services with a Moxie Award,” said Ward.  “Woolery’s contributions to the establishment and progress of the Illinois Forensic Science Commission have informed the Commission’s efforts to accomplish its mission of ensuring the efficient delivery of forensic services and sound forensic science practice throughout the state of Illinois.  Woolery’s insightful, informed approach benefits the entire Commission and those we are appointed to serve, including survivors of sexual violence.”

The Illinois General Assembly established the Illinois Forensic Science Commission in August 2021 to provide guidance to reduce or eliminate backlogs and errors while focusing on education, training, funding, hiring, procurement, and other aspects identified by the Commission. ​ The Commission looks at all disciplines of forensic testing, including forensic evidence in sexual assault cases. ​

Sexual assault survivors can monitor their evidence, from collection at the hospital through law enforcement pick-up and submission to the forensic lab, ​ to the State’s Attorney’s office where final results are received, using the Sexual Assault Tracking application online.

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