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NCJ Number: 65681 Find in a Library
Title: DETERMINANTS OF POLICE, PROSECUTION AND COURT DECISIONS IN FORCIBLE RAPE CASES
Author(s): G D LAFREE
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 353
Sponsoring Agency: UMI Dissertation Services
Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1346
Sale Source: UMI Dissertation Services
300 North Zeeb Road
P.O. Box 1346
Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1346
United States of America
Type: Thesis/Dissertation
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THIS STUDY APPLIES A CONFLICT-LABELING APPROACH TO THE OFFICIAL PROCESSING OF FORCIBLE SEX OFFENSES IN INDIANAPOLIS TO ASSESS A SET OF HYPOTHESES ABOUT THE DETERMINANTS OF OUTCOMES IN RAPE CASES.
Abstract: DATA WERE GATHERED FROM POLICE, PROSECUTOR, AND COURT RECORDS AND FROM INTERVIEWS WITH PERSONS RESPONSIBLE FOR PROCESSING SEXUAL ASSAULT COMPLAINTS. THE DETERMINANTS ARE EXAMINED FOR RELATIVE IMPORTANCE BY AND ACROSS CASE OUTCOMES AT EACH STAGE OF PROCESSING, FROM THE TIME A FORMAL COMPLAINT IS LODGED WITH THE POLICE UNTIL EACH COMPLAINT IS DISMISSED OR ADJUDICATED. PREVIOUS TO THE STUDY, THE MAJOR THEORETICAL DEVELOPMENTS IN RAPE RESEARCH ARE OUTLINED, AND THE CONFLICT-INTERACTIONIST APPROACH IS APPLIED TO THE PROCESSING OF RAPE COMPLAINTS. LITERATURE IS REVIEWED ON THE DETERMINANTS OF OUTCOMES FOR ACCUSED OFFENDERS, ON THE PROSECUTOR'S DECISION TO DISMISS, AND ON SENTENCING IN SEXUAL ASSAULT CASES. THEN DESCRIPTIVE STATISTICS FOR ALL VARIABLES COLLECTED FROM POLICE RECORDS ARE INCLUDED AND AN ANALYSIS IS PRESENTED OF THE DECISION TO UNFOUND, THE DECISION TO ARREST, AND THE SERIOUSNESS OF THE POLICE CHARGE. LOOKING AT THE PATH OF RAPE CASES FROM COMPLAINT TO FINAL DISPOSITION FOR THE YEARS 1970, 1973, AND 1975, IT IS APPARENT THAT REGARDLESS OF IMPORTANT CHANGES TO OFFICIAL PROCESSING (DECLINE IN POLICE UNFOUNDING, INCREASE IN CASES FILED, INCREASE IN CONVICTIONS AND EXECUTED SENTENCES PEAKING IN 1973) THE LARGEST PERCENTAGE OF CASES ARE LOST BEFORE REACHING CRIMINAL COURT, MAINLY DUE TO FAILURE TO MAKE ARREST. DETERMINANTS PREDICTING OUTCOME OF RAPE CASES WERE EVIDENCE, ALLEGATIONS CONCERNING VICTIM'S MORAL CHARACTER, TIME OF DAY AND LOCATION (E.G., ASSAULTS AT THE VICTIM'S HOME AND DURING DAY HOURS WERE LESS LIKELY TO BE UNFOUNDED), ALLEGATIONS OF VICTIM CARELESSNESS, AND VICTIM DEMOGRAPHIC VARIABLES (BLACK WOMEN'S COMPLAINTS WERE MORE LIKELY TO BE UNFOUNDED ETC.). OVERALL, IT APPEARS THAT MOST OUTCOMES ARE AFFECTED GREATLY BY LEGALLY IRRELEVANT CHARACTERISTICS OF THE INCIDENT AND OF THE SYSTEM AND BY INDICATORS OF FORCE. SUBSTANTIAL VARIATION OCCURS ACROSS PROCESSING OUTCOMES. ALSO, EARLIER PROCESSING DECISIONS IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM AFFECT LATER DECISIONS, MOST OBVIOUS IN TERMS OF DECISIONS WHICH REMOVED CASES FROM THE SYSTEM SUCH AS CASES UNFOUNDED BY POLICE AND DISMISSED BY THE PROSECUTION. FOOTNOTES AND REFERENCES ARE INCLUDED. APPENDIXES PRESENT INCIDENT CODESHEETS, A DETECTIVE AND PROSECUTION-COURT QUESTIONNAIRE, CHARGE SERIOUSNESS SCORES, AND CORRELATION MATRICES FOR ALL VARIABLES. (WJR)
Index Term(s): Conflict theory; Indiana; Judicial decisions; Labeling theory; Police decisionmaking; Police discretion; Prediction; Prosecutorial discretion; Prosecutorial screening; Rape
Note: SPECIAL PRICES FOR ACADEMIC INSTITUTIONS. INDIANA UNIVERSITY - DOCTORAL DISSERTATION
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=65681

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