Using Child Advocacy Center Tracking Data to Examine Criminal Disposition Times
Given the difficulty of obtaining criminal justice data on child abuse cases, information from child advocacy centers could be an important resource for answering questions about criminal justice outcomes for child abuse cases. In this exploratory study, we use data from one child advocacy center (N = 632) to examine the feasibility of using NCAtrak, a national computerized, Web-based case tracking system, to examine criminal disposition timeframes in child abuse cases. The system data indicated that the time frame for the cases to be criminally resolved varied widely. About one in four child physical and sexual abuse cases with adult offenders took more than one year to reach a final disposition. About 11% of child sexual abuse cases with juvenile offenders took more than one year to reach a criminal disposition. We encourage child advocacy centers using computer-based data systems to think of additional ways they might use this potentially rich source of data.
Journal of Child Sexual Abuse
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Wendy A. Walsh , Lisa M. Jones & Carole C. Swiecicki (2014) Using Child Advocacy Center Tracking Data to Examine Criminal Disposition Times, Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, 23:2, 198-216, DOI: 10.1080/10538712.2014.868386
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