Dr. Rebecca Campbell is a Professor of Psychology at Michigan State University, whose research focuses on violence against women and children with an emphasis on sexual assault. Steve and Corey discuss her recent National Institute of Justice-funded project to study Detroit’s untested rape kits. Dr. Campbell describes the problem of untested kits and her work with police departments around the country to reduce the backlog. She explains how the use of the national CODIS database has led to sharply higher estimates of the proportion of rapes committed by serial perpetrators and how many rapists appear to be criminal “generalists”, committing a wide range of offenses. She describes the dynamics of sexual assault investigations, the factors that lead police to put more effort into investigating certain cases over others, and how common ways of questioning women can lead them to disengage from the process. Other topics include the incentives at work in law enforcement, the slow pace at which new research in DNA testing and treatment of victims is incorporated into police training, and Dr. Campbell’s efforts to engage with law enforcement agencies to improve investigative practices.
- The National Problem of Untested Sexual Assault Kits (SAKs): Scope, Causes, and Future Directions for Research, Policy, and Practice.
- Forgotten evidence: A mixed methods study of why sexual assault kits (SAKs) are not submitted for DNA forensic testing.
- Why Police “Couldn’t or Wouldn’t” Submit Sexual Assault Kits for Forensic DNA Testing: A Focal Concerns Theory Analysis of Untested Rape Kits
- Tested at Last: How DNA Evidence in Untested Rape Kits Can Identify Offenders and Serial Sexual Assaults.
- Comparing Standard and Selective Degradation DNA Extraction Methods: Results from a Field Experiment with Sexual Assault Kits
- Evaluation of a Victim-Centered, Trauma-Informed Victim Notification Protocol for Untested Sexual Assault Kits (SAKs)
- Do You Wish to Prosecute the Person Who Assaulted You?: Untested Sexual Assault Kits and Victim Notification of Rape Survivors Assaulted as Adolescents
- Will history repeat itself? Growth mixture modeling of suspected serial sexual offending using forensic DNA evidence