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Criminal Justice Outcomes in Child Rape: A Case Flow Analysis

NCJ Number
Acta Criminologica Volume: 20 Issue: 4 Dated: 2007 Pages: 14-18
S. J. Collings
Date Published
5 pages
This study involved a case flow analysis of 200 South African child rape cases as they progressed through the criminal investigation and judicial prosecution systems.
The findings indicate that the processing of child rape cases by the police and judicial systems in the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa compares favorably to comparative data obtained for developed countries. Forty-five percent of child rape cases were referred for prosecution (compared to 35 percent in developed countries); 16 percent of cases referred for prosecution resulted in the offender being convicted (compared to 10 percent to 18 percent for developed countries), and judicial proceedings were concluded after an average of 425 days (compared to 501 for developed countries). Although trends observed for the United States in the processing of child rape cases and other developed countries are informative, they may not be relevant to developing countries, such as South Africa. The aim of this research study was to conduct a case flow analysis of a representative sample of 200 substantiated child sexual abuse cases through the South African criminal investigation and criminal prosecution systems in order to determine: (1) the proportion of cases referred for prosecution, (2) factors associated with referral for prosecution, (3) the duration, and outcome of criminal proceedings, and (4) factors associated with the duration and outcome of criminal proceedings. References