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Prosecution of Child Sexual Abuse: A Partnership to Improve Outcomes, New England, 2009-2013

Version
v2
Resource Type
Dataset : administrative records data, medical records
Creator
  • Block, Stephanie
  • Williams, Linda
Other Title
  • Version 2 (Subtitle)
Publication Date
2019-06-27
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
child sexual abuse; children; criminal prosecution; rape; sex offenders; special prosecutors; victimization
Description
  • Abstract

    These data are part of NACJD's Fast Track Release and are distributed as they were received from the data depositor. The files have been zipped by NACJD for release, but not checked or processed except for the removal of direct identifiers. Users should refer to the accompanying readme file for a brief description of the files available with this collection and consult the investigators if further information is needed. This study conducted a retrospective analysis of how child sexual abuse cases referred for prosecution in several counties in one New England state over a five year period (2009-2013) progressed through the system. In particular, the study focused on the distribution of the cases' outcomes and factors associated with these outcomes. The collection contains eight SPSS data files: D1_General-Case-Details.sav (n=500; 103 variables); D2_Background-Checks.sav (n=614; 9 variables); D3_Trial-Information.sav (n=89; 123 variables); D4_First-Victim-Details.sav (n=500; 289 variables); D5_Add-Victim-Details.sav (n=54; 289 variables); D6_First-Perp-Details.sav (n=500; 62 variables); D7_Add-Perp-Details.sav (n=60; 62 variables); D8_Medical-Information.sav (n=97; 35 variables); Demographic variables include age, birth date (month and year), gender, race, ethnicity, living arrangements, number of siblings, immigration status and ability to speak English.
  • Abstract

    The central aims of the study were to: (1) conduct research designed to increase knowledge of the criminal prosecution of child sexual abuse, the characteristics of cases that go forward to prosecution and the factors associated with case attrition; (2) enhance current and foster new researcher-practitioner collaborations to understand the barriers to prosecution; and (3) develop sustained working partnerships designed to increase successful prosecution of perpetrators while minimizing trauma to victims and families and to develop future research.
  • Methods

    The project conducted a retrospective analysis of how child sexual abuse cases referred for prosecution over a five year period (2009-2013) progressed through the system in several counties in one New England state. Using five coding forms developed through a pilot study, graduate student research assistants, along with the principal investigator, coded and entered into SPSS files information in assistant district attorney (ADA) case files, ADA trial record boxes, electronic databases of the district attorney (DA) office, and any child advocacy center files when available. ADA's were also available to the researchers to address any questions from the research team. These data files were used to prepare a flow chart of case attrition and conduct multivariate logistic regression analysis to determine the predictors of case outcomes.
  • Methods

    The collection contains eight SPSS data files: D1_General-Case-Details.sav (n=500; 103 variables): covers general case details, such as the alleged victim's age, date of intake (month and year) by the district attorney's office, who referred the case to the district attorney's office, whether a decision was made to prosecute the case and barriers to prosecuting the case. D2_Background-Checks.sav (n=614; 9 variables): covers the background checks done on the alleged victims and perpetrators involved in each case: whether there were multiple victims affiliated with the case, whether the victims were victims or perpetrators in other cases and whether the perpetrators were victims or perpetrators in other cases. D3_Trial-Information.sav (n=89; 123 variables): contains information about the cases that were prosecuted: the criminal charges and their dispositions, conditions imposed on the perpetrator (e.g., registration in sexual offence registry, mental health evaluation and Global Positioning System (GPS) monitoring), whether the case went before the court clerk or grand jury and various aspects of the trial process, such as trial type, motions to suppress evidence, use of outside experts, testimony given and victim impact statements. D4_First-Victim-Details.sav (n=500; 289 variables) and D5_Add-Victim-Details.sav (n=54; 289 variables): contain information about the first and additional victims identified in the case, respectively, including victim characteristics (gender, age, race, ethnicity, immigration status, ability to speak English, living situation, family demographics, vulnerability, and health status), type and duration of alleged abuse, type of evidence collected by police/investigators, time elapsed between the first sex abuse incident involving the perpetrator and first disclosure by the victim, and the use of coercion, grooming or offering of exchange to accomplish sexual contact. D6_First-Perp-Details.sav (n=500; 62 variables) and D7_Add-Perp-Details.sav (n=60; 62 variables): contain information about the first and additional perpetrators identified in the case, respectively, including the number of victims, type of abuse and characteristics of the perpetrator (gender, age, race, ethnicity, immigration issues, ability to speak English, vulnerability, health status, relationship to the victim and whether the perpetrator was already a registered sex offender when the case was opened). D8_Medical-Information.sav (n=97; 35 variables): covers any medical information included in the cases with references to medical evidence: indications of physical/medical exams (e.g., physician exam, trip to emergency room, pregnancy, rape kit performed) and place of exam and exam findings.
  • Methods

    ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection: Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes..
  • Methods

    Presence of Common Scales: None
  • Methods

    Response Rates: Not applicable
  • Abstract

    Datasets:

    • DS1: Dataset
Temporal Coverage
  • Time period: 2009-01--2013-12
  • 2009-01 / 2013-12
  • Collection date: 2014--2018
  • 2014 / 2018
Geographic Coverage
  • New England
Sampled Universe
Child sexual abuse cases referred for prosecution during 2009-2013 in several counties in one New England state. Smallest Geographic Unit: None
Sampling
Altogether, 500 child sexual abuse cases were selected for analysis. At each of four district attorney (DA) offices, 125 cases were randomly selected from a list of child sexual abuse cases provided by the office.
Collection Mode
  • record abstracts
Note
Funding institution(s): United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (2014-MU-MU-0001).
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
  • 37173 (Type: ICPSR Study Number)
Relations
  • Is new version of
    DOI: 10.3886/ICPSR37173.v1

Update Metadata: 2019-06-27 | Issue Number: 1 | Registration Date: 2019-06-27

Block, Stephanie; Williams, Linda (2019): Prosecution of Child Sexual Abuse: A Partnership to Improve Outcomes, New England, 2009-2013. Version 2. Version: v2. ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. Dataset. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR37173.v2