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Prosecuting Cases of Sexual Abuse in Confinement

NCJ Number
Date Published
December 2012
12 pages
This report discusses strategies to prosecute cases of sexual abuse in confinement.
Findings show that prosecutors must take a leadership role in ensuring that the practices articulated in PREA, as well as those that complement its mission, are fully understood, implemented, and maintained throughout the investigation and prosecution of a case. This report addresses steps that will help prosecutors and their multidisciplinary team (MDT) partners ensure safety, accountability, and justice in cases of sexual assault in prison. These gguidelines should enable prosecutors to prosecute a case of sexual abuse in confinement by challenging them to consider innovative strategies to overcome the barriers identified in various case-related scenarios. This report also guides prosecutors in developing tactics that can be utilized throughout their case-in-chief; work with victims who recant or do not want to participate in the investigation or prosecution of their case; and combat common defenses. Finally discussed is the additional work that must be done between prosecutors and allied criminal justice professionals to prioritize the investigation and prosecution of all sexual abuse and train those who are involved in detection and response to understand the extent and meaning of evidence and witness identification, retention, and collection; effective victim-centered, offender-focused prosecution strategies; and practices that enhance victim safety and protection. 62 endnotes

Date Published: December 1, 2012