On May 7, 2018, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions delivered remarks at the Association of State Criminal Investigative Agencies (ASCIA) 2018 Spring Conference.  He emphasized that the administration’s goal is to bring down the rate of violent crime, homicides, opioid prescriptions, and overdose deaths.  In 2018, the Department of Justice (DOJ) will invest more than $100 million in state and local crime labs to make them faster, more efficient, and effective, in an effort to reduce the backlog and free up other resources to reduce violent crime and drug abuse.  DOJ, through the Bureau of  Justice Assistance's Sexual Assault Kit Initiative, also will provide grant funding to identify previously unsubmitted sexual assault kits, test them, and then assign personnel to pursue new investigative leads to help provide closure for sexual assault victims throughout the country and help put their assailants behind bars.  AG Sessions added that it is critical to address the growing encryption (or “going dark”) problem.  DOJ is working with stakeholders in the private sector, in law enforcement, and in Congress to find a solution to this problem.