U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Police Presence, Isolation, and Sexual Assault Prosecution

NCJ Number
236042
Date Published
September 2011
Length
20 pages
Author(s)
Greg Postle, Andre B. Rosay, Katherine TePas, Darryl S. Wood
Agencies
NIJ-Sponsored
Annotation
This article reviews the effects of geographic isolation and local police presence on the processing of sexual assault cases.
Abstract
This article considers the effects of geographic isolation and local police presence on the processing of 239 sexual assault cases reported to the Alaska State Troopers. Geographic isolation is hypothesized to hinder case processing due to its impact on the celerity and thoroughness of investigations, whereas the presence of local police is hypothesized to facilitate case processing by legitimizing reported offenses and assisting with evidence collection. Controlling for a host of important legal and “extra legal” case characteristics, the authors find that geographic isolation and local police presence did significantly influence case processing. However, contrary to expectations, geographic isolation facilitates case processing in that sexual assault cases from isolated locations are actually more likely to be referred for prosecution. As expected, local police presence facilitates case processing by enhancing the likelihood that referred cases would be accepted for prosecution. Implications for rural policing are discussed.
Date Created: August 31, 2011