Browsing Alaska Justice Forum Reprints by Subject "rural justice"
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A Brief Look at VPSOs and Violence against Women CasesThis 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.
Case Attrition of Sexual Violence Offenses: Empirical FindingsThis report examined the legal resolutions for 1,184 contact sexual violence cases reported to Alaska State Troopers in 2003 and 2004, and excluded results from other law enforcement agencies. We determined whether cases were founded with an identifiable suspect, were referred to the Alaska Department of Law for prosecution, were accepted for prosecution, and if the case resulted in a conviction. We only examined whether any conviction on any charge was obtained. In some cases, the conviction may be for a non-sexual offense. * Seventy-five percent of cases were founded with at least one identifiable suspect, 51% of founded cases were referred to the Alaska Department of Law for prosecution, 60% of referred cases were accepted for prosecution, and 80% of accepted cases resulted in a conviction on at least one charge. The greatest point of attrition was from the founding to the referral decision. * For the most part, cases of Alaska Native victims were as likely, or even more likely, to be processed by the criminal justice system relative to the cases of non-Native victims. * Cases of sexual violence in the most rural portions of Alaska had an equal or greater chance of being subject to legal sanction when compared with cases from Alaska's less rural areas, and were as likely or more likely to receive full enforcement and prosecution. Unfortunately, the percentage of founded cases that resulted in a conviction never exceeded 30%.
Sexual Assaults Reported to Alaska State TroopersThis study examined 989 cases with a sexual assault or sexual abuse of a minor charge reported to Alaska State Troopers in 2003 and 2004, and excluded any sexual assault cases reported to local or municipal departments. * Forty-eight percent of reports came from C Detachment (Western Alaska - Kodiak to Kotzebue), and 58% were reported from communities off the road system. * In 69% of cases, the identity of at least one suspect was known. While most suspects (87%) were adults, most victims (73%) were juveniles. Sixty-one percent of victims were Alaska Native and 38% were White. Intra-racial victimizations were much more prevalent than inter-racial victimizations. The most common suspect was a friend or acquaintance of the victim, followed by a relative. Forty-three percent of suspects and 27% of victims had used alcohol. * Sexual penetration occurred in 60% of assaults. Weapons were very rarely used. Most assaults occurred inside private residences. Nineteen percent of victims experienced general physical pain and 10% suffered bruising or swelling. Most victimizations were reported quickly to Troopers and Troopers were quick to respond. Ninety-six percent of victims were interviewed, with 48% interviewed on the day of the report and 80% interviewed within one week of the report. * Forty-six per cent of reported cases were referred for prosecution, 60% of referred cases were accepted for prosecution, and 80% of accepted cases resulted in a conviction. Overall, however, only 22% of reported cases resulted in a conviction. In some cases, the conviction may be for a non-sexual offense. The highest level of attrition occurred from report to referral.