• A Brief Look at VPSOs and Violence against Women Cases

      UAA Justice Center (University of Alaska Anchorage Justice Center, 2011-11)
      This study examined sexual assault and sexual abuse of a minor cases that were reported to Alaska State Troopers in 2003 and 2004, and assault cases involving domestic violence that were reported to Alaska State Troopers in 2004. All analyses were restricted to cases that included only one victim and only one adult suspect. From Alaska Department of Law records, we examined whether cases were referred for prosecution, whether cases were accepted for prosecution, and whether cases resulted in a conviction. We also examined if these legal resolutions were different when the first responder was a local paraprofessional police officer (i.e., a Village Public Safety Officer, a Village Police Officer, or a Tribal Police Officer). • Overall, local paraprofessional police significantly increased the probability of referral for sexual assault cases, had no effect on the probability of referral for sexual abuse of a minor cases, and decreased the probability of referral for assault cases involving domestic violence. (Cases are referred for prosecution by the Alaska State Troopers to the Alaska Department of Law.) • For all three offenses (sexual assault, sexual abuse of a minor, and assault involving domestic violence), local paraprofessional police significantly increased the probability that cases would be accepted for prosecution. • Local paraprofessional police did not impact the probability of conviction in sexual assault cases, but significantly increased the probability of conviction in sexual abuse of minor cases and in assault cases involving domestic violence. Cases that resulted in a conviction may have been plea bargained to reduced charges.