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Efficiency in Processing Sexual Assault Kits in Crime Laboratories and Law Enforcement Agencies, United States, 2013-2014

Version
v1
Resource Type
Dataset : observational data, survey data
Creator
  • Strom, Kevin
Other Title
  • Version 1 (Subtitle)
Publication Date
2018-11-29
Publication Place
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Publisher
  • Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research
Funding Reference
  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice
Language
English
Free Keywords
Schema: ICPSR
assault; evidence; rape; sexual abuse; sexual assault
Description
  • Abstract

    These data are part of NACJD's Fast Track Release and are distributed as they there received from the data depositor. The files have been zipped by NACJD for release, but not checked or processed except of the removal of direct identifiers. Users should refer to the accompany readme file for a brief description of the files available with this collections and consult the investigator(s) if further information is needed.This study presents a research-informed approach to identify the most efficient practices for addressing un-submitted sexual assault kits (SAKs) that accrue in U.S. law enforcement agencies (LEAs) as well as untested SAKs pending analysis in crime laboratories. The study examined intra- and interagency dynamics associated with SAK processing efficiency in a linked sample of crime laboratories. SAK outputs and inputs were assessed for laboratories that conduct biological forensic analysis and LEAs that submit SAK evidence to these laboratories. Production functions were estimated to examine effects of labor and capital inputs, in addition to policies, management systems, and cross-agency coordination on efficiency. Six jurisdictions were recruited for site visits, and qualitative methods were used to understand how LEAs, laboratories, and prosecutors implement practices that affect efficiency.This study contains 7 data files including:Crime Lab_Raw.dta (n=147; variables =242); Crosswalk File.dta (n=2337; variables=2); lab_analysis_sample_2017-04-06.dta (n=132; variables=92); LEA Communication LCAs.dta (n=321; variables=15; merged_analysis_file_JH2017-04-30.dta (n=273; variables=117); policy Class probabilities_LABS.dta (n=139; variables=19); SAK LAB COMMUNICATION LCA.dta (n=134; variables=15);
  • Abstract

    The purpose of this study is to provide a research-informed approach to identify the most efficient practices for addressing the submission of Sexual Assault Kits in U.S. Law Enforcement Agencies and the testing of Sexual Assault Kits in laboratories.
  • Methods

    Data was collected in three different phases. In Phase I, a national survey was administered to state, county, and municipal laboratories that conduct biological forensic analysis, and an additional survey was given to a sample of law enforcement agencies (LEAs) that submit sexual assault kits (SAK) evidence to these laboratories. Questions were designed to assess SAK outputs (e.g., submission/testing rates) and inputs (e.g., labor, capital, policies, interagency communication). In Phase II, production functions were estimated to examine effects of labor and capital inputs, in addition to policies, management systems, and cross-agency coordination on efficiency. Lastly, in Phase III, six jurisdictions were recruited for site visits, and qualitative methods were used to understand how law enforcement agencies (LEAs), laboratories, and prosecutors implement practices that affect efficiency.
  • Methods

    Crime Lab_Raw.dta (n=147; variables= 242)- This file's variables refer to how sexual assault kits are handled in crime labs. This includes: policies and procedures, number of sexual assault kit (SAK) requests, number of SAKs processed, funding, communication between law enforcement and crime labs, etc. Crosswalk File.dta (n=2337; variables=2)- This file only contains 2 variables that are ID numbers for crime labs and law enforcement agencies. lab_analysis_sample_2017-04-06.dta (n=132; variables=92)- The variables in this file are closely related to the variables in file 'Crime Lab_Raw.dta' listed above.LEA Communication LCAs.dta (n=321; variables=15)- This file contains variables relating to the communication between law enforcement agencies and labs, agencies, victims, suspects, etc.merged_analysis_file_JH2017-04-30.dta (n=273; variables=117)- This file contains variables similar to those mentioned above. Some examples of these variables are: number of SAKS collected, number of SAKS submitted, How are SAKs collected, evidence retention for guilty and non-guilty defendants, average number of SAKs analyzed per analyst.policy Class probabilities_LABS.dta (n=139; variables=19)- This file contains variables that explore the status of cases whether it be acceptance or removal etc.SAK LAB COMMUNICATION LCA.dta (n=134; variables=15)- This file contains variables regarding what case info labs receive.
  • Methods

    Response Rates: 67 percent of (survey of crime laboratories)
  • Abstract

    Datasets:

    • DS1: Dataset
Temporal Coverage
  • Time period: 2013--2014
  • 2013 / 2014
  • Collection date: 2013--2014
  • 2013 / 2014
Geographic Coverage
  • United States
Sampled Universe
law enforcement agencies, crime laboratories, linked law enforcement and laboratory pairs Smallest Geographic Unit: Law Enforcement Agency Jurisdiction
Sampling
The sampling plan began with a national survey of state and local crime laboratories that conduct biological forensic analyses (n = 222). Laboratories were drawn from the Bureau of Justice Statistics' 2009 Census of Publicly Funded Forensic Crime Laboratories (CPFFCL). The final response rate was 67% (147 laboratories). The second step was to select a sample of law enforcement agencies (LEAs) from the population of LEAs submitting forensic evidence to these responding laboratories, with the goal of sampling four LEAs per laboratory (n = 588). The population of LEAs (from the Uniform Crime Reports database) was matched with the sample of jurisdictions reported by the laboratory agency, and a merged list was created with both the sampled laboratories and the population of LEAs submitting to those laboratories. The merged list was used as the LEA sampling frame from which lead letters and reminders were developed and sent to each agency's chief. A total of 321 LEAs responded to the survey.
Collection Mode
  • face-to-face interview
  • mixed mode
  • web-based survey
Note
Funding institution(s): United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (2013-NE-BX-0006).
Availability
Delivery
One or more files in this study are not available for download due to special restrictions; consult the study documentation to learn more on how to obtain the data.
Alternative Identifiers
  • 36747 (Type: ICPSR Study Number)

Update Metadata: 2018-11-29 | Issue Number: 2 | Registration Date: 2018-11-29

Strom, Kevin (2018): Efficiency in Processing Sexual Assault Kits in Crime Laboratories and Law Enforcement Agencies, United States, 2013-2014. Version 1. Version: v1. ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. Dataset. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR36747.v1