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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 142339 Find in a Library
Journal: Journal of Criminal Justice  Volume:21  Issue:1  Dated:(1993)  Pages:79-86
Author(s): D A Dible; R H C Teske Jr
Date Published: 1993
Page Count: 8
Type: Program/Project Evaluation
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article reports on an assessment of the effects of a specialized victim-witness unit for child sexual abuse cases prosecuted in Collin County, Texas.
Abstract: The victim-witness unit works with the child and the child's parents or guardians from the time of the filing of the case to provide information about case processing and services designed to ease the stress and depersonalizing influences of the processing. The criteria used to measure program success were an increase in successful convictions at trial, a shift in the level of seriousness of the offense charged, an increase in the proportion of offenders receiving incarceration rather than probation, an overall increase in penalties associated with guilty pleas, and an increase in the length of probation and prison sentences. An examination of all child sexual abuse cases prosecuted from 1983 through 1989 found that, subsequent to the introduction of the victim-witness program, the success rate at trial for cases of child sexual abuse almost doubled, from 38 percent to 72 percent; defendants were more likely either to plead guilty to or to be convicted of the more serious charge of aggravated sexual abuse of a child; the severity of the sentences imposed increased significantly. 4 tables, 6 notes, and 10 references
Main Term(s): Child Sexual Abuse; Victim-witness programs
Index Term(s): Prosecution; Texas
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