A Project of the Office of Justice Programs, U. Investigation, Prosecution, and Disposition Overview Few other types of crimes are the focus of media capacity unable to determine sex much attention and scrutiny as sex offenses, particularly with respect to the prosecution and ultimate disposition of these cases. Making informed disposition decisions that hold adult and juvenile sex offenders accountable, facilitate successful outcomes for victims and offenders, and promote community safety.
As such, practices vary considerably both within and across jurisdictions. This limits the ability of the system to meet the aforementioned objectives and establish a solid framework for initial and ongoing management efforts. This provides an important opportunity to enhance the quality and integrity of the process overall. Investigation Because they are often the first to have contact with alleged victims and offenders, law enforcement officers and child welfare personnel play a key role in ensuring that quality investigations are conducted.
Investigations are most effective when professionals are guided by specialized knowledge, sensitive to the needs and interests of victims, and committed to multidisciplinary collaboration. Professional biases and stereotypes about victims and offenders can also influence the ways in which these cases are investigated. When juveniles are the focus of investigations, myths and misperceptions can impact the ways in which law enforcement, child welfare, and juvenile court personnel respond to allegations of sexual victimization. In addition, particularly for law enforcement agents, specialized training about the proper procedures for collecting and preserving evidence is vital. In the absence of specialized training in this area, investigators may overlook or mishandle evidence, which can ultimately compromise successful prosecution efforts.
This awareness, or lack thereof, can impact the extent to which law enforcement officials and other investigators pursue evidence collection and inquiries during interviews with alleged victims and perpetrators. It can also provide a lens through which evidence, statements, and other details of the alleged offense are viewed and ultimately interpreted. At the point of disclosure or identification, a full range of resources must be readily available in order to offer crisis intervention, support, education, referrals, and advocacy to victims. Concerns about the system’s ability to protect them. When the alleged perpetrator is a juvenile and the case involves a sibling or other family member, investigators must also be sensitive to the potential reactions of parents and other members of the family.
In those cases where investigators and the courts determine that separation of the alleged victim and offender is required, removal of the offender should almost always be the first course of action. Understandably, removing the victim can cause further trauma, and the victim may perceive that they are responsible for the abuse or that they have engaged in wrongful behavior. Unanticipated costs associated with the forensic examination and other medical procedures. However, they often share a common goal—to ensure reliable and valid findings that will lead to successful resolution of these cases.
Multiple agencies are involved with sex crimes investigations, often with unique roles and responsibilities. This is best accomplished through establishing multidisciplinary collaborative teams, commonly known as sexual assault response teams. In summary, the strength of investigative teams is dependent upon the individual and collective expertise of the team members and their willingness to work collaboratively to gather and analyze critical information. Click here to assess your policies and practices in this area.
SOUTH AFRICAN NATIONAL EDITORS’ FORUM . The first applicant, Print Media South Africa, is an incorporated association not for gain. Its members are the Newspaper Association of South Africa, the Magazine Publishers Association of South Africa and the Association of Independent Publishers. It represents a wide range of participants in the print media industry. The second applicant, the South African National Editors’ Forum, is a non-profit organisation, comprising various editors, senior journalists and journalism trainers from all sectors of South African media. It states that one of its objects is to campaign for the elimination of legislative restrictions on media freedom. The applicants had previously made submissions to Parliament on the intended amendments to the Act and the direct effect that those would have on their members and the industry at large.