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Evaluation of OVW''s Sexual Assault Justice Initiative

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $999,724)

he purpose of this project is to conduct a multi-site evaluation of OVW’s Sexual Assault Justice Initiative (SAJI). The proposed evaluation has four main objectives: (1) design and implement the most rigorous evaluation plan possible; (2) assess the implementation process and outcomes for each OVW-funded initiative site and, to the extent possible, across all sites; (3) monetize the costs and benefits of the initiative and OVW’s investment in training and technical assistance; and (4) provide real guidance to criminal justice and social service professionals about the utility of the initiative and how SAJI may be implemented in other jurisdictions. RAND is the ideal evaluation partner for SAJI because of its extensive experience evaluating multi-site initiatives, a history of applying innovative methods to research, and an understanding of the deep complexities of the topic area.

Research design: The research design will be finalized early in the project, when sites are selected and SAJI strategies identified. The RAND project team will prioritize designs that allow randomization of cases to treatment and control conditions. The evaluation will be accomplished through six tasks: (1) implementing a communication plan to ensure evaluation transparency with funders and implementing sites. We anticipate regular conference calls, webinars, and newsletters. (2) With the input of NIJ, OVW, and the project expert panel, finalize the technical approach for the evaluation. (3) Conduct a process evaluation to document SAJI design and implementation in each site. (4) Collect outcome data at each SAJI site, which will likely include case assignment and charging data, case outcomes data, data related to victim perceptions of the process, and cost-related data. (5) Analyze collected data to examine the impact of SAJI. (6) Report and disseminate evaluation site results in ways that will be useful to participating and future SAJI sites. This will include site specific reports for participating sites, a report that outlines results and lessons learned across all sites, andjournal articles to relay the findings to the wider academic and practice communities.

Subjects: The collection of outcome measures will use participating agencies’ administrative case records and surveys/interviews with agency employees, TTA providers, and a subset of victims served. The process evaluation will include interviews/surveys with TTA providers and site participants.

This study will lay the groundwork for generating important information for policymakers and providers about the effectiveness, and the challenges, of implementing prosecutor performance measures for sexual assault cases.

This project contains a research and/or development component, as defined in applicable law. ca/ncf

Date Created: September 17, 2015