Criminal Justice Data Quality

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Research study has been done on prosecution of child sexual abuse cases from the past few decades. In today’s paper, this research has been studied and provided facts, methods and conclusion with the help of five articles.

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“Criminal Justice Data Quality”

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  1. A meta-analysis of rates of Criminal Justice Decisions.
  2. Using coplink to analyze Criminal-Justice Data.
  3. Risk-appraisal versus self-report in the prediction of Criminal Justice outcomes: A meta-analysis
  4. Prosecution rate and quality of the investigative interview in child sexual abuse cases.
  5. Factors associated with delays of days to decades to criminal prosecutions of Child Sexual Abuse.

Introduction and Observations:

From the first article, it is evident that this study meta-analyzed rates of criminal justice decisions in 21 studies of prosecution of child abuse. Rates of referral to prosecution, filing charges, and incarceration varied considerably. Compared to national data, child abuse was less likely to lead to filing charges and incarceration than most other felonies but more likely to be carried forward without dismissal. Thus, prosecuting child abuse is generally neither feckless nor reckless. Rates can be misleading and cannot be the sole measure of prosecution success. From the second article, the Coplink project, which unites the technical expertise of the University of Arizona’s Artificial Intelligence Lab with the Tucson Police Department’s law enforcement domain knowledge. Coplink serves the community by bridging the gap between conducting research in cutting-edge technologies and solving real-world problems such as helping police officers fight crime.

The Coplink project attacks several problems existing in many law enforcement agencies by developing a model integrated system that lets law officers’ access and share information with other agencies. Coplink has the additional goal of developing consistent, intuitive, and easy-to-use interfaces and applications that support specific and often complex law enforcement functions and tasks. From the third article, it has been observed that the risk-appraisal and self-report procedures are divergent methods of data collection, with risk-appraisal procedures relying in part or in whole on historical, chart, and non-self-report information and self-report measures relying exclusively on self-report data. The risk-appraisal/self-report differentiation should not be confused with actuarial and clinical methods of prediction, as both risk-appraisal and self-report methods of data collection can be entered into actuarial decision models or treated clinically.

The five risk-appraisal procedures which will be used to for a meta-analysis are: Historical-Clinical-Risk Scales (HCR–20), Lifestyle Criminality Screening Form (LCSF), Level of Service-Inventory (LSI), Psychopathy Checklist (PCL), Violence Risk Appraisal Guide (VRAG). more self-report measures will also be included, such as BDHI, etc. From the fourth and fifth article, a brief analysis about the prosecution rate in child sexual abuse cases. From the study, it has been examined that the reason for the low prosecution rate in child sexual abuse cases is the poor quality of the interviews conducted by the interviewers. The relationship between interview quality and prosecution rate has been clearly examined in this research. Interviews with the older children has been of good quality on one hand and when it comes to interviews with young children has been of poor quality on the other hand. There are various reasons behind this poor quality.


Most of the child sexual abuse cases resulted in many psychological problems especially in younger children. Child sexual abuse can always affect children by causing trauma on the child and resulting in cascading effects in terms of social, sexual, physical and mental problems. This research has been conducted in Sweden and Canada and it has been found that the number of child rape cases have been rapidly increased up to 450% from the year 1987 to 2003. There has been tremendous increase in small abuse cases like sexual harassment about 200% in the same time period. Based on the increasing knowledge of parents and social media effects, people are coming forward and registering cases. These cases have been taken seriously and the convicts who got imprisonment have been increased from 73 to 145 in the same time period.

It has been observed that the rate of reporting is higher than the conviction numbers. There are many reasons behind these figures. One of the main reasons for this low-quality prosecution rate is there is no evidence except the child’s statement. There are statements against this saying that due to advanced medical examinations, the convicts can be easily given imprisonment which will be a big evidence to the justice. Justice has been facing problems with the cases of preschoolers than the teenagers. Hence, interviewer has a challenger when interviewing them which results in a bad quality. In Canada, a maximum of 55% CSA cases were filed in the year 2012 and it has been observed that most of the victims are under age 18. These cases have been becoming a challenge to criminal courts not only in Canada but also in most of the American states, Australia, UK, Europe. Below are only the published CSA cases in Canada from 1986 to 2012. There has been increase in the percentage of cases between the years 1991 and 1998. A substantial decrease can be seen in the years 2000 and 2002.

Factors associated with delays to Criminal Prosecutions of CSA:

There have been a lot of changes in the criminal justice in the past 30 years and there are few factors which are related with the delays in prosecutions of CSA cases.

  1. Judicial warnings are no longer mandatory in most jurisdictions.
  2. To lessen the trauma of testifying, courtroom modifications are in the form of testimonial supports but they are fully in progress.
  3. An attitude that children’s evidence is inherently unreliable.
  4. Knowledge of terrifying forensic system is very low in children which always plays an important role in evidence.


From the articles, it can be concluded that for the child abuse studies, the Q statistic was statistically significant at p < .001 for all but one rate in Table 2 (for diversion). This provides evidence that the variation in rates is systematic, that is, due to real differences between the studies analyzed and not just sampling error or chance. It is beyond the scope of this article to explore what jurisdictional, organizational, or sample variables could explain this variation, but this suggests the value of additional meta-analytic research.

Coplink CS has been successfully deployed at the Tucson Police Department, where crime analysts, officers, detectives, and sergeants from 16 departmental units use the technology voluntarily as part of their daily investigative routine. This cross-section comprises approximately 30 to 40 percent of TPD’s investigative units and includes 90 percent of the crime analysts. Investigative units include adult and child sexual assault, aggravated assault, auto theft, elder abuse, community office, fraud, gangs, homicide, undercover, neighborhood crimes, night detectives, patrol, robbery, and warrants.

Although risk-appraisal procedures displayed an advantage over self-report measures in recidivism prediction, the two methods produced comparable results when the meta-analysis was restricted to investigations using content-relevant self-report predictors. Incremental validity analysis of 72 risk-appraisal/self-report contrasts revealed that both sets of measures accounted for criminal justice outcomes beyond the variance attributable to the alternate method.

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Criminal Justice Data Quality. (2019, Feb 20). Retrieved December 9, 2022 , from

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