This guide examines the use of polygraph tests and other truth-telling devices (sometimes called “lie-detector tests”) in sexual assault investigations. It is meant to support the Violence Against Women Act and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act of 2005 (VAWA 2005) provision that truth-telling devices must not be used with sexual assault victims as a condition of charging or prosecution of an offense. This guide examines special issues relevant to using truth-telling devices with sexual assault victims. Legislative and judicial actions that have been taken as a result of this debate will also be discussed. Victim advocates, law enforcement officers, and policy makers may use this guide to develop policies, practices, and procedures and to improve collaborations regarding the use of truth-telling devices as the VAWA 2005 provision is adopted across the United States. 

The report reveals that the backlog of untested rape kits in Los Angeles County is larger and more widespread than previously reported. Through dozens of interviews with police officers, public officials, criminalists, rape treatment providers, and rape victims, the report documents the devastating effects of the backlog on victims of sexual abuse.
Testing Justice: The Rape Kit Backlog in Los Angeles City and County

This report presents findings from the National Incident-Based Reporting System regarding sexual assault of young children. The data are based on reports from law enforcement agencies of 12 States and covers the years 1991 through 1996. The report presents sexual assault in 4 categories: forcible rape, forcible sodomy, sexual assault with an object, and forcible fondling. Findings include statistics on the incidence of sexual assault, the victims, their offenders, gender, response to these crimes, locality, time of incident, the levels of victim injury, victims' perceptions of offenders' ages, and victim-offender relationships, and other detailed characteristics.
Sexual Assault of Young Children as Reported to Law Enforcement: Victim, Incident, and Offender Characteristics

This curriculum focuses on the investigation of nonstranger sexual assaults and emphasizes investigative tools and techniques for cases in which a consent, rather than identity, defense is raised. These training materials include 12 content modules, 12 trainer's curriculum units, classroom overheads, and supplemental materials that include sample affidavits and search warrants.
Successfully Investigating Acquaintance Sexual Assault: A National Training Manual for Law Enforcement

This report presents findings from a survey of publicly operated forensic crime labs that perform DNA testing.
Survey of DNA Crime Laboratories

The cover story in this issue of the National Institute of Justice Journal discusses a survey that examined whether potential jurors who watched these shows were more likely to acquit if scientific evidence was not presented during trial.
The ‘CSI Effect’: Does It Really Exist?

This Human Rights Watch report takes an in-depth look into the current sex offender laws in the US and offers a critique of such laws as well as recommendations and model programs. Issues related to juvenile offenders, residency restriction, offender registration, community notification, and internet registries are also discussed.
 
No Easy Answers: Sex Offender Laws in the US

This report summarizes findings from a study about the cirminal justice system's approach to immigrant victims of crime and barriers that prohibit immigrants from reporting crimes.
 
Immigrant Populations as Victims: Toward a Multicultural Criminal Justice System

This document discusses the impact of the criminal justice system on violence against women and acts as a starting point for discussing and advancing new violence prevention strategies.

Safety & Justice for All: Examining the Relationship Between the Women's Anti-violence Movement and the Criminal Legal System

This guide delineates the benefits of forming a multidisciplinary team (MDT) of professionals from law enforcement, child protective services, prosecution, medicine, counseling, and related fields to investigate cases of child abuse and neglect. It offers guidance on convening team participants, writing a mission statement, establishing protocols, promoting teamwork, and preventing burnout and addresses the importance of confidentiality policies, conflict resolution practices, and periodic review. The guide also includes an extensive list of related readings and contact information for organizations that offer training and technical assistance to MDT's.
 
Forming a Multidisciplinary Team to Investigate Child Abuse

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