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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 228477 Find in a Library
Title: Assessing the Impact of Mandatory DNA Testing of Prison Inmates in NSW on Clearance, Charge and Conviction Rates for Selected Crime Categories
Author(s): William T.M. Dunsmuir; Don Weatherburn
Date Published: 2008
Page Count: 108
Sponsoring Agency: New South Wales Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research
Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
Publication Number: ISBN: 978-1-921306-38-9
Sale Source: New South Wales Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research
Level 8, St James Centre
111 Elizabeth Street
Sydney NSW 2000,
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Book (Softbound)
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: Results are presented from an assessment on the association between mandatory DNA testing of New South Wales (NSW) prison inmates and clear-up, charge, and conviction rates for various categories of crime.
Abstract: The results of the study quantify the significance, size, and direction of association between the advent of DNA testing and the subsequent growth in the DNA database and the various outcome measures: clear-up rate, charge rate, and conviction rates in both court jurisdictions. For conviction rates, there was no evidence for a conclusion that the advent of DNA testing had had a positive impact. For the police outcome series of clear-up, charge, and charge to clear-up rates, there was consistent evidence of a positive association for five of the eight crime categories considered and mixed evidence for the assault and the two motor vehicle related categories. In relation to the observations for the police outcome series, the lags at which the association with the advent of DNA testing and subsequent database growth was quite long and varied across crime categories. From shortest lag to longest lag, the lags included break and enter non-dwelling, sexual assault, break and enter dwelling, robbery without firearm, and robbery with firearm. The differences in lags across categories could be attributed to differences in average prison sentences for these crimes. The purpose of this investigation was to examine the impact on clear-up prosecution and conviction rates for New South Wales (NSW) legislation passed in 2000, permitting police to take a DNA sample from any offender serving a sentence of imprisonment for a serious indictable offense. Tables, figures, references, and appendixes
Main Term(s): DNA fingerprinting
Index Term(s): Australia; Clearance rates; Conviction rates; Forensic sciences; Incarceration; Inmates; New South Wales; Sentencing statistics
Note: Legislative Evaluation Series
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