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Undergraduate Research Project Management System

Sexual Assault Case Processing: A model of Attrition and Decision Making

Status Complete
Seeking Researchers No
Start Date 09/01/2005
End Date 06/30/2006
Funding Source Undergraduate Research Grants
Funding Amount
Community Partner
Related Course
Last Updated 07/05/2008 01:25AM
Keywords Sexual Assault

People

Faculty
  Andre Rosay

Student Researchers
  Matthew Snodgrass

Abstract

As defined by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, forcible rape is the "carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will." For well over 20 years, Anchorage has experienced a persistent and severe problem with forcible rape. In 2003, the rate of forcible rape per 100,000 in Anchorage was 180.4% higher than in the U.S. (Uniform Crime Report, 2003) To Make matters worse, the prosecution of forcible rape is dismal at best. Many offenders are not being held accountable for their actions. This research seeks to explain why cases reported to the Anchorage Police Department are not being fully and successfully prosecuted. The ultimate goal of this research is to assist the Anchorage Police Department in preparing cases that have a higher likelihood of being fully and successfully prosecuted. By explaining why cases are rejected by prosecutors, the Anchorage Police Department will be able to correct their investigative strategies so as to improve the convictability of suspects. In an effort to document this filtering process and increase offender accountability, this research models the flow through the criminal justice system of 1,074 sexual assault cases reported to the Anchorage Police Department between 2000 and 2003. This project will describe not only case outcome and case attribution, but will also describe the reasons given by prosecutors for decision making at each point. Equipped with knowledge on case attribution and the reasons given for this attrition, law enforcement official will be able to prepare more robust cases, thereby increasing offender accountability.

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