Write a 700- to 1,050-word paper that either supports or refutes statistical data as a means of supporting criminal justice policy. Remember to back up your argument with factual, peer-reviewed references.
In this assignment you are to select a Criminal Justice policy and then either refute or support the policy based on statistical data found in peer reviewed articles.
Statistics and Criminal Justice Policy
Statistics are significant in the justice system, and facilitate the evaluation and provision of trends in the different criminal justice policies. The authority primarily through the police collects data depending on the cases received on a daily basis and preserves them, similarly, the judiciary has a record of the cases handled over a given period and categorizes them according to their similarity. Statistical data in the possession of the authorities’ reliability depends on how effectively the report was captured; most crime statistics are considered to be unreliable due to their complicated nature. Rape and sexual assault is one criminal justice policy that requires much attention since there is still reports of a lot of cases despite having stringent measures to ensure a decline in such situations. The accuracy of statistics recorded on the rape and sexual assault may not be very reliable in most cases; this would be due to the influence by several factors such as failing to report. Therefore, this paper is going to look critically at the rape, and sexual assault policy holistically based on the available statistics and ascertain whether it is these data can be used to in supporting the policy.
The rape and sexual harassment policy has over the years developed since the first time in the 1970s when the feminists in America pushed the government to adopt the rape shield laws (Call, Nice, & Talarico, 1991). These were crucial legislation that provided protection to the victim and ensured that the sexual history of the rape victim is protected hence encouraging more to come out and report without fear. It was an important law because victims feared that their sexual history would become an issue at trial. The feminist in America did not stop at that but wanted the rape, definition to be revised, it then prompted for the adjustment of the law on rape to constitute the spousal rape in the year 1993. The revision changed the whole meaning of rape from having intercourse with a female who is not ones’ wife without consent to provide for all females, therefore, covering rape against the wives. Over the years, the policy has received more limelight especially from the feminist groups with the most recent progress being the enactment of violence against women act which provides for improved investigation and prosecution of rape, domestic violence and all other violent crimes against women.
The number of rape cases are still hitting at a level high despite a lot of the reforms that have been enacted to ensure there is a reduction. The worrying fact is that most of these cases are not reported and according to different research provided by various bodies there is no uniformity in the number of cases reported with a wide difference noted in the results. The annual national crime victimization survey which is done by the department of justice annually indicated that 32% of the rape and sexual assault cases were reported to the police in 1994. Another study by Rape in America found that 16% of rape and sexual assault cases in the year 1992 were reported to police or relevant authorities. In other results provided by National Survey of Adolescent indicated that 14.3% of the rape and sexual assault were reported in 1992 (Gadalla & Suarez, 2010). The differences between these three pieces of research vindicate the fact the statics does not relay the accurate picture of the progress depicted by the policy since the results provided are not uniform showing that there could be a difficulty.
In addition to refuting the credibility of using statistical data to support rape and sexual assault criminal justice policy, other factors may highly contribute to the scanty statistic data gathered. One is the age of the victims which is a major factor that determines whether a victim would report to the authority in case she is offended. It is noted that most rape cases victims are below the age of 11 years, and the offenders in this cases are majorly those they are closely related. Due to the frustrations that the victims face they are forced to restrain the information from the authorities, other than reporting to get appropriate justice.
It is evident that rape and sexual assault policy has undergone a notable progress and should have advanced with the number of victims displaying declining trend. In the contrary, this is not the actual picture despite the statistical data provided by the authority to ascertain the progress of this policy. More cases are not reported each year which in essence waters down the authenticity of the data that is in the possession of the authority. It, therefore, calls for in-depth analysis of the measures that should be strengthened to make sure that the policy serves its intended purpose to the maximum. Additionally, statistics cannot be reliable to support the progress of any criminal justice policies, as seen in the rape and sexual assault policy there are many factors that influence the criminal cases which may lead to inaccurate relaying of information.
Call, J. E., Nice, D., & Talarico, S. M. (1991). An analysis of state rape shield laws. Social Science Quarterly, 77-88.
Gadalla, T., & Suarez, E. (2010). Stop blaming the victim: A meta-analysis on rape myths. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 25(11)., 12-13.