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Pilot Study on Sexual Assault and Related Offences in the ACT: Stage 3

NCJ Number
221089
Author(s)
Maria Borzycki
Date Published
2007
Annotation
This report summarizes the final stage of a three-stage research project that examined the processing of sexual assault and related offense information through the Australian Capital Territory's (ACT's) criminal justice system, in order to explore the feasibility of integrating criminal justice information systems.
Abstract
Despite some challenges cited in this report, this project demonstrates that sexual assault and related offenses can be tracked from their point of entry into the ACT criminal justice to the point at which they are finalized in that same system. Changes to what is collected and how it is collected would improve both the process and outcome of any future data tracking. These changes might include the development of a checklist of questions to be asked of any dataset compiled, so as to guide the type of information collected. In addition the nature and form of any data required to answer these questions should be specified, so as to ensure that relevant information is collected. Further, in order to ensure that data collection is streamlined and current, the difficulties faced by all agencies regarding data extraction and compilation prior to any data collection should be identified and addressed. Another beneficial change would be the development of a new minimum dataset that maps all relevant variables and values available from participating ACT criminal just agencies. Data findings pertain to perpetrator and victim profiles, victim-offender prior relationship, location of offenses, weapons involved, reporting to police, arrests, and data-processing time frames. Stage three data were compiled with an electronic (Excel) workbook. Collection of the first 6-month dataset (July to December 2004) began in March 2005 and concluded in August 2005. The second round of data collection, which involved compiling data for the second half of the reference period, January to June 2005, began in August 2005 and concluded in February 2006. 10 figures and 2 tables