The purpose of this study is to provide a research-informed approach to identify the most efficient practices for addressing the submission of Sexual Assault Kits in U.S. Law Enforcement Agencies and the testing of Sexual Assault Kits in laboratories.
Data was collected in three different phases. In Phase I, a national survey was administered to state, county, and municipal laboratories that conduct biological forensic analysis, and an additional survey was given to a sample of law enforcement agencies (LEAs) that submit sexual assault kits (SAK) evidence to these laboratories. Questions were designed to assess SAK outputs (e.g., submission/testing rates) and inputs (e.g., labor, capital, policies, interagency communication). In Phase II, production functions were estimated to examine effects of labor and capital inputs, in addition to policies, management systems, and cross-agency coordination on efficiency. Lastly, in Phase III, six jurisdictions were recruited for site visits, and qualitative methods were used to understand how law enforcement agencies (LEAs), laboratories, and prosecutors implement practices that affect efficiency.
The sampling plan began with a national survey of state and local crime laboratories that conduct biological forensic analyses (n = 222). Laboratories were drawn from the Bureau of Justice Statistics' 2009 Census of Publicly Funded Forensic Crime Laboratories (CPFFCL). The final response rate was 67% (147 laboratories). The second step was to select a sample of law enforcement agencies (LEAs) from the population of LEAs submitting forensic evidence to these responding laboratories, with the goal of sampling four LEAs per laboratory (n = 588). The population of LEAs (from the Uniform Crime Reports database) was matched with the sample of jurisdictions reported by the laboratory agency, and a merged list was created with both the sampled laboratories and the population of LEAs submitting to those laboratories. The merged list was used as the LEA sampling frame from which lead letters and reminders were developed and sent to each agency's chief. A total of 321 LEAs responded to the survey.
law enforcement agencies, crime laboratories, linked law enforcement and laboratory pairs
Law Enforcement Agencies,
Crime Lab_Raw.dta (n=147; variables= 242)- This file's variables refer to how sexual assault kits are handled in crime labs. This includes: policies and procedures, number of sexual assault kit (SAK) requests, number of SAKs processed, funding, communication between law enforcement and crime labs, etc.
Crosswalk File.dta (n=2337; variables=2)- This file only contains 2 variables that are ID numbers for crime labs and law enforcement agencies.
lab_analysis_sample_2017-04-06.dta (n=132; variables=92)- The variables in this file are closely related to the variables in file 'Crime Lab_Raw.dta' listed above.
LEA Communication LCAs.dta (n=321; variables=15)- This file contains variables relating to the communication between law enforcement agencies and labs, agencies, victims, suspects, etc.
merged_analysis_file_JH2017-04-30.dta (n=273; variables=117)- This file contains variables similar to those mentioned above. Some examples of these variables are: number of SAKS collected, number of SAKS submitted, How are SAKs collected, evidence retention for guilty and non-guilty defendants, average number of SAKs analyzed per analyst.
policy Class probabilities_LABS.dta (n=139; variables=19)- This file contains variables that explore the status of cases whether it be acceptance or removal etc.
SAK LAB COMMUNICATION LCA.dta (n=134; variables=15)- This file contains variables regarding what case info labs receive.
67 percent of (survey of crime laboratories)