UAA Justice Center works for data-driven public policy on sexual assault investigations

 

 

The backlog of unsubmitted rape kits—acquired during police investigations—is in the news. Recent reports point to a November 2017 state inventory of 3,484 kits. The Alaska State Troopers report 764; the Alaska Police Department reports the largest number, at 1,823. Others come from many jurisdictions around the state.

The kits are acquired during sexual assault investigations. They end up NOT being submitted for a number of reasons: a request for anonymity; perhaps the information the kit could contain was not needed, or not necessary for prosecution. That can happen when a case is declined by prosecutors, or the case rested on an issue of consent, for example.

But the information in these same kits represents missed opportunity to solve cold cases or identify serial rapists. Now, a national movement, amplified by a state movement, is addressing this backlog.

On today’s Justice Alaska on Hometown Alaska, our guests will offer background and perspective, and elaborate on the research role that the UAA Justice Center is playing to help create better public policy. In particular, Ingrid Johnson, a professor at the UAA Justice Center, is conducting original research on what victim-survivors of sexual assault consider to be just outcomes of their case. Her research recruitment flyer is linked here and below in the list of links. An FAQ on the research process is also linked here, and below. We’ll also get an overview of the Justice Center mission.

As always, your questions and comments are welcome throughout the show. Please, join us in discussing this important turning point in ways Alaska police agencies “improve practices related to sexual assault investigation, prosecution, and victim engagement and support.” That quote comes from the Alaska Department of Public Safety’s research request to the UAA Justice Center.

Thanks for listening!

HOSTS:

GUESTS:

  • Brad Myrstol, director, UAA Justice Center
  • Ingrid Johnson, professor, UAA Justice Center

LINKS:

PARTICIPATE

  • Call 550-8433 (Anchorage) or 1-888-353-5752 (statewide) during the live broadcast (2:00 – 3:00pm)
  • Send e-mail to hometown@alaskapublic.org before, during or after the live broadcast (e-mails may be read on air)
  • Post your comment or question below (comments may be read on air)
  • LIVE: Monday, November 19, 2018 at 2:00 p.m.
  • REPEAT: Monday, November 19, 2018 at 8:00 p.m.