Witness intimidation is a chronic problem with devastating implications, regardless of where it occurs or to what foundational crimes it is attached. Sexual abusein confinement, however, is a crime that compounds the horrific nature of sexual abuse with a venue of incarceration – a place where victims literally cannot escape their attacker – and therefore presents unique opportunities for intimidation. Sexual abuse in confinement creates “severe consequences for victims, for the security of correctional facilities, and for the safety and well being of the communities to which nearly all incarcerated persons will eventually return.” Intimidation in these cases hinders their investigation and prosecution, allows defendants to evade accountability, and turns facilities into bastions for sexual abusers and human rights violators.
This webinar is designed to identify strategies for investigations and prosecutions that build trust in the criminal justice system and provide multiple, safe, and confidential points of entry for potential reporters. In addition, victim and witness safety, retaliatory violence, verbal and physical intimidation, and financial and emotional manipulation will be discussed. The presenter will also discuss the potential for intimidation and violence over the course of multiple cases and across time in a single case as well as policies and protocols that promote effective prosecution of these cases.