Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.


Criminal Justice

Degree Program

Criminal Justice, PhD

Committee Chair

Campbell, Bradley

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Vito, Gennaro

Committee Member

Vito, Gennaro

Committee Member

Fisher, Benjamin

Committee Member

O'Neal, Eryn

Author's Keywords

Police; prosecutor; decision-making; sexual assault; meta-analysis; focal concerns framework


Scholars have frequently used focal concerns to explain case advancement – suspect identification, case clearance, and arrest and charge decisions – in sexual assault cases. Indeed, focal concerns has been popularly used to explain prosecutor decision-making and, more recently, it has increasingly been used to explain police decision-making in sexual assault cases. As such, a systematic review and meta-analysis is needed to synthesize and evaluate existing literature. In this study, meta-analysis is used to estimate the overall size, strength, and direction of focal concerns variables on case advancement in sexual assault cases by using police officers’ decision to arrest and prosecutors’ decision to charge. This evaluation will follow protocols recommended by the Campbell Collaboration of Systematic Reviews to conduct an exhaustive literature search and use meta-analytic techniques to estimate effect sizes. Results from this study will hopefully help inform policy and training by determining factors associated sexual assault case advancement.

Included in

Courts Commons