Most reported cases of sexual assault do not move forward for prosecution, yet little is known about reasons for such case attrition including prosecutorial discretion and decision-making. This assessment project will attempt to broaden our understanding of sexual assault cases in Texas that are moved forward for prosecution and those that are not. Case attrition of sexual assault cases has been studied by other states through an in-depth examination of case files and administrative data but is often limited to law enforcement action or inaction on sexual assault cases.
This assessment will conduct secondary analysis of state and county-level administrative data examining sexual assault case flow and attrition. A focus of this project will be developing usable tools for criminal justice stakeholders to track and monitor their case flow processes and support streamlined data reporting procedures related to the Texas National Incident Based Reporting System that is due to be implemented in Fall of 2019.
This assessment project will add depth to the extant literature on sexual assault case flow and attrition by examining case characteristics prevalent in cases that end with a guilty plea or conviction compared to those that do not.