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NCJ Number: 31681 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: WITNESS COOPERATION - WITH A HANDBOOK OF WITNESS MANAGEMENT
Author(s): F J CANNAVALE
Editor(s): W D FALCON
Date Published: 1975
Page Count: 247
Sponsoring Agency: Lexington Books
New York, NY 10022
US Dept of Justice

US Dept of Justice NIJ Pub
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 73-NI-99-0013
Sale Source: Lexington Books
866 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10022
United States of America
Type: Statistics
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: BASED ON DATA OBTAINED FROM THE WASHINGTON D.C. PROMIS (PROSECUTOR'S MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEM) AND A SERIES OF WITNESS SURVEYS, THIS STUDY EXAMINED WHY PERSONS IDENTIFIED AS WITNESSES WERE LATER LABELED UNCOOPERATIVE.
Abstract: PROSECUTORS HAVE LONG BEEN AWARE THAT WITNESS NONCOOPERATION CONSTITUTES A SERIOUS PROBLEM. THIS MAY BE CAUSED BY A VARIETY OF FACTORS, INCLUDING WITNESS' FEAR OF REPRISAL, ANGER AT DRAWN OUT COURT PROCEEDINGS, ETC. THE PROMIS DATA WAS USED AS A BASIS FOR ANALYSIS SINCE IT CONTAINED INFORMATION ON WHETHER PROSECUTORS CONSIDERED A WITNESS IN ANY GIVEN CASE TO BE NONCOOPERATIVE. THE EXTENT OF WITNESS NON-COOPERATION AS PERCEIVED BY PROSECUTORS WAS FIRST EXAMINED. IT WAS FOUND THAT 19 PERCENT OF THE CASES REJECTED BY PROSECUTORS WERE REJECTED FOR WITNESS NONCOOPERATION. BASED ON THE PROMIS DATA, A SAMPLE OF COOPERATIVE AND NONCOOPERATIVE WITNESSES WAS CHOSEN. FIELD QUESTIONNAIRES CONTAINING QUESTIONS ON WITNESSES' BACKGROUND, ATTITUDES TOWARDS THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM AND EXPERIENCES WITH THE SYSTEM WERE ADMINISTERED TO 922 WITNESSES IN ORDER TO DETERMINE FACTORS THAT MIGHT DISTINGUISH BETWEEN COOPERATIVE AND NONCOOPERATIVE WITNESSES AND TO ASSESS THE ATTITUDES COOPERATIVE WITNESS NOW HOLD ABOUT THE TREATMENT OF WITNESSES. ONE OF THE STUDY'S MAJOR FINDINGS WAS THAT PROCEDURAL SHORTCOMINGS (BOTH BY POLICE AND PROSECUTOR'S OFFICE) OFTEN CAUSED PROSECUTORS TO MISCONSTRUE THE TRUE INTENTIONS OF WITNESSES AND TO LABEL THEM NONCOOPERATORS WHEN, INDEED, WITNESSES MAY HAVE BEEN WILLING TO COOPERATE AND WERE UNAWARE OF THE NONCOOPERATIVE DESIGNATION. AS A RESULT, MANY CASES WERE REJECTED FOR PROSECUTION THAT MIGHT WELL HAVE BEEN PURSUED. ACCORDING TO THE STUDY'S RESEARCH, A PRIME REASON WHY WITNESSES' TRUE INTENTIONS WERE MISCONSTRUED WAS THAT OF FAULTY COMMUNICATIONS BETWEEN WITNESSES AND POLICE/PROSECUTOR. A WITNESS MANAGEMENT HANDBOOK WHICH PRESENTS NUMEROUS METHODS AND PROCEDURES FOR IMPROVING WITNESS COOPERATION AND HANDLING IS ALSO INCLUDED. (AUTHOR ABSTRACT MODIFIED)
Index Term(s): Community support; Comparative analysis; District of Columbia; Prosecution; Prosecutorial screening; Prosecutors Management Information System; Public Attitudes/Opinion; Questionnaires; Statistical analysis; Surveys; Witness protection; Witnesses
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=31681

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