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Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) Implementation and Collaborative Process: What Works Best for the Criminal Justice System?

Award Information

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Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2010, $278,713)

This project will conduct two studies examining how differences in SARTs' structure and functioning impact their ability to increase reporting and prosecution rates and how the heterogeneity in SARTs' structure and functioning relate to features of their collaborative process, and in turn, how these process factors relate to SARTs' effectiveness at increasing reporting and prosecution rates. Findings from this study can be used to develop recommendations for SARTs' practice, and inform the efforts of national, state, and local organizations that provide technical assistance to SARTs.

In the first study, a national-scale study of SARTs will be conducted to identify patterns of SART structure and functioning, and examine how these patterns relate to perceived effectiveness of increasing reporting and prosecution rates. Study 1 will utilize random sampling to obtain a national sample of SARTs. Key informants (i.e., SART leaders) will be asked to report on their SARTs' membership, goals, structure, and activities, and its effectiveness with respect to reporting and prosecution. Next, empirically based patterns of SART implementation will be derived (i.e., different combinations of membership, goals, structure, and activities) using cluster analysis and examine which patterns are more or less effective. The second study will examine how different patterns of SART structure and functioning relate to differences in the collaborative process, and how the collaborative process relates to perceived effectiveness in increasing reporting and prosecution rates. Study 2 examines two key features of the collaborative process: collaborative climate (i.e., inclusivity of diverse perspectives) and patterns of relationships among participating SART organizations (e.g., pattern of trusting relationships among stakeholders). To capture the diverse perspectives of SART members, all members of selected SARTs will be interviewed to examine these collaborative processes in detail. Because full member data collection is labor-intensive, a subsample of SARTs that participated in Study 1 will be systematically selected to explore how structure/functioning patterns relate to collaborative processes, and how collaborative process relates to perceived effectiveness. ca/ncf

Date Created: September 16, 2010