Hold Team Meetings . Monitor and Evaluate Your Efforts . Sustain Your SART . Know Your Team . Critical Issues
- National Organizations and Agencies
- Overview of the Criminal Justice System
- Publications and Tools
National Organizations and Agencies
International Network on Therapeutic Jurisprudence
Serves as a clearinghouse of information about therapeutic jurisprudence (i.e., how law affects emotional life and psychological well-being). Its Web site includes articles, a bibliography, conferences, listservs, and links to criminology, criminal justice, and national therapeutic jurisprudence organization sites.
It Happened to Alexa Foundation
Assists rape victims' families with travel expenses during the litigation process.
Works to promote the rights of women and girls, covering issues such as employment, housing, immigrant women, teen dating abuse, and intimate partner violence. Its Web site links to the national judicial education project, among other programs and resources.
National American Indian Court Judges Association
Supports American Indian and Alaska Native justice systems through education, information sharing, and advocacy. Its membership is primarily judges, justices, and peacemakers serving in tribal justice systems.
National Association of Attorneys General
Facilitates interaction among attorneys to respond effectively to emerging state and federal legal issues.
National Center for State Courts
Offers solutions for enhancing court operations, collects and interprets the latest data on court operations nationwide, and provides information on proven best practices for improving court operations.
National Conference of State Legislatures
Provides research, technical assistance, and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on pressing state issues. Its Web site includes topical pages such as DNA in Criminal Justice and State Crime Legislation in 2006, a report on the numerous sexual assault issues addressed in legislation that year.
National Crime Victim Law Institute
Helps victims of sexual assault through legal advocacy, training and educational programs, and public policy work. Its Web site provides links for attorneys, advocates, and victims.
National Criminal Justice Reference Service
Serves as a clearinghouse in support of research, policy, and program development worldwide. Its Web site links to publications covering corrections, courts, crime, crime prevention, criminal and juvenile justice systems, prosecution, law enforcement, and victims.
National District Attorneys Association
Supports prosecutors in protecting victims. Its programs include the DNA Forensics Program and the National Center for the Prosecution of Violence Against Women.
National Tribal Judicial Center
Address the specific needs of Native American and Alaska Native tribal law judiciaries.
Office of Tribal Justice
Facilitates the coordination of a broad range of American Indian issues to help unify the federal response. Its Web site provides information about grant and funding opportunities, public safety and law enforcement, publications, and statistical studies.
Security on Campus, Inc.
Prevents violence, substance abuse, and other crimes in college and university campus communities throughout the United States and assists the victims of these crimes.
Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office
Serves as the U.S. Department of Defense's single point of accountability on sexual assault policy. Its Web site links to the military's directives and procedures related to sexual assault.
Tribal Law and Policy Institute
Provides access to research, training, and technical assistance programs that promote the enhancement of justice in Indian Country and the health, well-being, and culture of Native peoples.
U.S. Department of Defense Victim and Witness Assistance Council
Provides victim and witness assistance training materials; an introduction to Defense Department programs, guidance, and policy; victim and witness assistance forms; and links and points of contact for each branch of the military.
Vera Institute of Justice
Works closely with leaders in government and civil society to improve the services people rely on for safety and justice.
Victim Rights Law Center
Provides sexual assault victims with free legal help and provides national technical assistance to service providers.
Overview of the Criminal Justice System
Handbook of Legal Terms
Covers a wide range of legal definitions in plain English.
Manual for Courts-Martial United States
Covers jurisdictional issues; initiation of charges; pre-trial, trial, and post-trial proceedings; and rules of evidence.
National Victim Assistance Academy Textbook, Chapter 2 and Chapter 3
Explains the differences among federal, criminal, and juvenile justice systems; specific roles of prosecutors regarding victims; and the challenges of providing and enforcing victims' rights within the criminal justice system.
Superior Court of California Legal Glossary
Provides legal definitions in English, Arabic, Armenian (Western), Hmong, Mien, Mong, Punjabi, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Urdu, and Vietnamese.
Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault SART Manual
Covers the importance of SARTs for victims and the community; building sexual assault response teams; decisionmaking; advocacy, law enforcement, medical, and prosecutorial responses; evaluations and case reviews; and community outreach.
Oregon SART Handbook
Assists SARTs in varying degrees of development. Copies are available upon e-mail request.
The Response to Sexual Assault: Removing Barriers to Services and Justice
Includes best practices for prosecution and the courts.
San Diego SART: Standards of Practice
Outlines standards of practice, including roles and responsibilities, for members of an interdisciplinary SART team.
Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office, Directive and Instruction
Links to directives, policies, and procedures from the U.S. Department of Defense.
West Virginia Protocol for Responding to Victims of Sexual Assault
Presents a multidisciplinary, victim-centered approach for victim advocates, law enforcement, hospitals and medical personnel, and prosecution. Its primary purpose is to assist hospitals in minimizing physical and psychological trauma to victims of sexual assault and to maximize the probability of collecting and preserving physical evidence for potential use in the legal system.
Publications and Tools
Assessing Justice System Response to Violence Against Women: A Tool for Law Enforcement, Prosecution and the Courts to Use in Developing Effective Responses
Contains an assessment tool for jurisdictions to use in developing effective responses by law enforcement, prosecution, and the courts. The prosecutorial chapter includes information on advocate support, victim and witness response, supervisor response, data collection, and building organizational capacity.
Attorney General Standards for Providing Services to Victims of Sexual Assault
Includes a section on victim-centered prosecutorial approaches.
Can Jury Trial Innovations Improve Juror Understanding of DNA Evidence?
Addresses the impact of juror note taking, juror questioning, and checklists on jurors' understanding of DNA evidence.
The Crime Victim's Right to Attend Trial: The Reascendant National Consensus
Offers a national overview of victims' rights to attend trial.
A Criminal Justice Guide: Legal Remedies for Adult Victims of Sexual Violence
Provides comprehensive information about survivors' rights in the context of a criminal prosecution and how to enforce those rights.
Defense Access to Victims' Homes
Details the state of the law nationally regarding defense attorneys' rights to access victims' homes when the sexual assault occurred there.
Discovery Versus Production: There Is a Difference
Discusses the basic differences between discovery and production when a defendant seeks access to a victim's records. Understanding the fundamentals of this difference is critical to protecting a crime victim's privacy.
DNA: A Prosecutor's Practice Notebook
Assists state and local prosecutors in preparing DNA-related cases for prosecution. Lessons cover investigating, preparing, and presenting cases involving DNA; special case circumstances; and lab report analysis.
DNA Evidence Policy Considerations for the Prosecutor
Identifies critical issues to consider for DNA evidence and offers options for developing policy. Sections include early case evaluation by a multidisciplinary team, discovery in DNA cases, unsolved cases, cold hit, collaterally attacked closed cases, and resource allocation and management.
Explaining Counterintuitive Victim Behavior in Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Cases
Discusses the relevance and admissibility of expert testimony on jurors' perceptions of counterintuitive victim behavior and considerations for choosing experts to testify.
Forensic DNA Fundamentals for the Prosecutor: Be Not Afraid
Serves as a primer for prosecutors on the basics of DNA.
A Gap or a Chasm? Attrition in Reported Rape Cases
Studies the reasons for victims' early withdrawal from criminal justice proceedings. Three comparison areas were selected to reflect a combination of metropolitan, inner-city, and rural areas.
Guidelines for Fair Treatment of Victims and Witnesses
Provides information on compensation and restitution, the roles of victim witness assistants, intimidation protections, employer and creditor intercession, victim notifications, victim statements at sentencing, and property return.
Introducing Expert Testimony to Explain Victim Behavior in Sexual and Domestic Violence Prosecutions
Sets forth recommended practices for addressing victim behavior in sexual or domestic violence prosecutions. It includes information on the prevalence of myths about sexual violence and their impact on jury verdicts, the need for expert testimony to dispel myths and prove contexts for victim behaviors, and recommended practices for introducing expert testimony.
The Judicial Education Reference, Information and Technical Transfer
Serves as the national clearinghouse for information on continuing education for judges and other key court personnel employed in local, state, and federal courts.
Justice in Indian Country: A Process Evaluation of the U.S. Department of Justice Indian Country Justice Initiative, Final Evaluation Report
Investigates ways to improve coordination among the federal and American Indian nations' justice systems.
Maze of Injustice: The Failure To Protect Indigenous Women From Violence
Provides information and recommendations for overcoming law enforcement policing issues, overcoming barriers to prosecution, and providing accessible support services for survivors.
National Prosecution Standards
Describes the national prosecution standards. Sections include information on prosecutorial functions, pre-trial, trial, post-trial, and juvenile justice. Visit the National District Attorneys Association's (NDAA) Publications page, where NDAA members can download the standards for free.
Overcoming the Consent Defense
Provides information on how SARTs can support and protect victims when the defense attempts to unfairly undermine their credibility.
Overview of the Military Justice System (PowerPoint)
Covers Article 15 (which determines an offender's guilt or innocence), levels of court martial, anatomy of a trial, and effects of sentencing.
Pennsylvania Sexual Violence Benchbook
Includes sections on understanding sexual violence, the process of a sex offense case, life after Megan's Law, and resources.
Prosecuting Alcohol-Facilitated Sexual Assault
Addresses the prosecution of cases when victims are voluntarily intoxicated and reviews toxicology, assessing consent, credibility and corroboration, and recommended trial strategies.
Prosecuting Sexual Assault: A Comparison of Charging Decisions in Sexual Assault Cases Involving Strangers, Acquaintances, and Intimate Partners
Examines the effect of victim, suspect, and case characteristics on prosecutors' charging decisions in three types of sexual assault cases: those that involved strangers, acquaintances, and intimate partners.
The Prosecutor's Guide to Mental Health Disorders
Reviews common mental health disorders and their impact on victim competence and credibility.
Prosecutors' Offices Statistics
Provides statistics on staff, budgets, and caseloads of prosecutor offices in the United States.
Responding to Non-Stranger Sexual Assault (Word)
Discusses differences between stranger and non-stranger sexual assaults, the types of relationships between victims and suspects prior to the assaults, victims' responses, community responses to victims, important evidence in establishing the crime, the likelihood of consent defenses in non-stranger sexual assault, and responses of judges and juries to sexual assaults by offenders known to victims.
Rural Victim Assistance: A Victim/Witness Guide for Rural Prosecutors
Helps prosecutors, victim advocates, and policymakers understand the state of victim and witness assistance in rural communities, including staffing limitations, the roles and responsibilities of advocates, and the challenges that rural prosecutors' offices face.
Sexual Assault Benchbook
Provides information on Michigan's criminal sexual conduct offenses; research findings and statistics on sexual assault; community agencies and resources that assist victims of sexual assault; special courtroom procedures that protect the rights of victims, witnesses, and defendants; evidentiary matters, including Michigan's rape shield law, sexual assault evidence collection kits, privileges, polygraph tests, selected hearsay rules, and DNA testing and admissibility; communicable disease testing and post-conviction requests for DNA testing; identification and profiling systems for sex offenders; and civil remedies for sexual assault victims.
Standards on Prosecutorial Investigations
Serves as the prosecutorial standards of the American Bar Association.
Successfully Investigating and Prosecuting Sexual Assault
Allows interested professionals to expand their knowledge of cutting-edge developments in the criminal justice and community response to sexual assault.
Toolkit to Combat Trafficking in Persons
Increases awareness and helps policymakers, criminal justice systems, law enforcement agencies, and nongovernmental organizations understand and respond effectively to trafficking in persons.
Tribal Resources, Tribal Law Journal
Provides tribal government information and links to other indigenous resources.
Understanding Crawford v. Washington
Discusses Crawford v. Washington’s impact on sexual assault cases.
Understanding Sexual Violence: Prosecuting Adult Rape and Sexual Assault Cases
Provides sections on victims' issues, relationships between prosecutors and advocates, medical forensic examiners, trial preparation and practice, expert witnesses, voir dire, DNA, and drug-facilitated sexual assault.
Understanding the Non-Stranger Rapist
Describes offenders' motivation and modes of operation and concludes with recommendations for prosecutors.
The Victim in the Criminal Justice System
Describes the American Bar Association's positions on charging and case dispositions, the role of the victim in trial proceedings, and providing victim protections and reparations.
Victim Input Into Plea Agreements
Provides information on the status of the law regarding victims' input into plea agreements, victim impact testimony, informing courts of victims' views, enforcing victims' rights, and innovative practices.
Victim Responses to Sexual Assault: Counterintuitive or Simply Adaptive?
Describes variances and influences in victims' physical, emotional, and mental coping reactions in the aftermath of sexual violence.
Victims and Witnesses with Developmental Disabilities and the Prosecution of Sexual Assault
Reviews developmental disabilities and practical trial preparation strategies.
StatutesAmericans with Disabilities Act
Offers information and technical assistance on the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Complying With The Jeanne Clery Act
Provides the text for the statute, Clery Act crime definitions, and answers to frequently asked questions.
Criminal Code, by State
Includes information on criminal codes and procedures by state.
The Justice for All Act
Seeks to protect crime victims' rights, eliminate the substantial backlog of DNA samples collected from crime scenes and convicted offenders, and improve and expand the DNA testing capacity of crime laboratories.
Statutes Allowing Fleeing Survivors Access to Protective Orders
Covers state statutes pertaining to victims fleeing domestic violence.
Statutory Summary Charts
Summarizes statutes from all 50 states regarding domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, dating violence, and trafficking.
Summary of DV/SA Advocate Confidentiality Laws
Covers state confidentiality laws pertaining to sexual and domestic violence.
Uniform Code of Military Justice
Serves as a Congressional Code of Military Criminal Law that applies to all military members worldwide.
Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000
Focuses on combating trafficking in persons, particularly involving the sex trade, slavery, and involuntary servitude.
Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act of 2005
Seeks to improve the community and criminal justice system response to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.