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NCJ Number: 252689 Find in a Library
Title: Decision Making in Sexual Assault Cases: Replication Research on Sexual Violence Case Attrition in the U.S.
Author(s): Melissa S. Morabito; Linda M. Williams; April Pattavina
Corporate Author: University of Massachusetts Lowell
United States of America
Date Published: February 2019
Page Count: 242
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Washington, DC 20531
University of Massachusetts Lowell
Lowell, MA 01854-3044
US Dept of Justice NIJ Pub
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 2012-IJ-CX-0052
Sale Source: US Dept of Justice NIJ Pub
810 Seventh Street, NW
Washington, DC 20531
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Program/Project Description; Report (Grant Sponsored); Report (Study/Research); Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Document; Document (Online)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Findings and methodology are reported for a study that replicated in six jurisdictions across the country a study in Los Angeles County (California) of reasons for sexual violence (SV) case attrition (case not pursued to formal disposition) at the policing and prosecutorial stages.
Abstract: In the six jurisdictions of the current study, a mixed methods approach was used to obtain quantitative and qualitative data needed to identify and interpret patterns in the processing of sexual assault cases. Researchers tracked police reports of rape and attempted rape cases and documented the flow of reports on these cases through each stage of processing. Case records were analyzed in detail in order to determine the dynamics of the characteristics of victims, offenders, and cases associated with discontinued processing. Interviews and focus groups were conducted with police, prosecutors, and victim service providers. Multivariate analyses predicting an arrest indicated that legal or evidentiary factors were significant predictors of an arrest in a case and that the effects of case characteristics were independent of jurisdiction type. A cooperative victim was the strongest predictor of arrest across all jurisdictions. Results from medium and large jursidctions showed that issues related to victim credibility reduced the likelihood of arrest. Race was a significant predictor only for small sites with higher odds of arrest for incidents that involved Black victims. Extra-legal factors were significant in predicting arrest and were often related to issues in victim credibility. Indicators of victim resistance were predictive of arrest for all victim-offender types of relationships. Differences and similarities between the findings of this study and the Los Angeles County study are noted. 18 tables, 6 figures, 54 references, and appended methodological materials
Main Term(s): Sex offenses
Index Term(s): Case dismissal; Case processing; National Institute of Justice (NIJ); NIJ final report; Police discretion; Police-victim interaction; Prosecutorial discretion
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