Sexual abuse in confinement has persistently presented tremendous challenges to investigators and prosecutors because of internal and external barriers to reporting, including the behaviors, actions, and decision-making power of first responders that may result in the failure to make an official report to law enforcement. Additional challenges include issues related to evidence collection and retention, identification of witnesses, and multi-level biases against inmates. This resource provides an overview of the Prison Rape Elimination Act and national standards related to a victim-centered, offender-focused investigation and prosecution of a sexual abuse in confinement. The issue discusses detailed strategy for prosecuting these cases, including investigation, pretrial, jury selection, trial testimony and sentencing.
We have developed two individual resources related to witness intimidation. One is a collection of state statutes that includes laws such as those expressly prohibiting witness intimidation, harassment, perjury, retaliation, bribery, false reporting,and tampering with witnesses or evidence.
The second is a compilation of case summaries provides insight into the dynamics and prosecution of witness intimidation, harassment, perjury, retaliation, bribery, false reporting,and tampering with witnesses or evidence.