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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 99062 Find in a Library
Title: Rural Justice - A Systems Analysis of Property Offences
Journal: Canadian Journal of Criminal Justice  Volume:27  Issue:3  Dated:(July 1985)  Pages:289-297
Author(s): C L Boydell
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 9
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Canada
Annotation: This study of the processing of property crime cases in a rural criminal justice system of Ontario, Canada, is a systems analysis of the interdependence of the decisionmaking stages of case processing.
Abstract: The jurisdiction studied has a population of approximately 10,000, and the police department has 11 full-time officers and 3 civilian employees. Data were collected from police and court files for a 1-year period. For this year, 366 property offenses were reported. A case number was assigned for 296 of the offenses; for the remaining 70 a brief report was filed with no further action taken. In the 189 cases with no suspect, a report was filed, and no further actions was taken. For all cases with a suspect, the suspect was known to the police by name. Of the 107 cases with suspects, 56 suspects were arrested; 52 cases were presented to the prosecutor. In all 52 cases, the prosecutor brought charges that resulted in convictions. Urban studies typically find more case attrition at the prosecutorial stage, suggesting a marked difference in which cases are processed in urban and rural jurisdictions. Data from the rural study indicate that the focal point for plea negotation is the police stage. The police are apparently successful in obtaining incriminating information from suspects due to a general public ignorance of legal rights and the ability of the police to persuade suspects it is in their best interests to cooperate with the police. Although it appears that the police are the most important factor in case outcome, the prosecutor and court have also provided feedback to the police over the years regarding the quality and amount of evidence required for conviction. The police thus process only those cases which will be accepted by the prosecutor, who in turn accepts only those cases with a high probability for conviction. A case flow diagram and 12 references are provided.
Index Term(s): Case processing; Ontario; Plea negotiations; Police prosecutor relations; Property crimes; Rural area studies; Systems analysis
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