Appendix 3: Interview questions for SART agencies
Consider asking core SART agencies—rape crisis centers, sexual-assault medical forensic examiner programs/hospitals, law enforcement, and prosecution—some or all of the following questions, to gather information as you plan your partnership with the SART and incorporate a SART approach in facility policy. Tailor the questions and prompts as needed.
Describe your agency/program and what services you provide.
A. sexual assault policy and procedure
- Describe the different ways that a sexual assault victim might access your services or assistance. What is the most common way?
- Describe your agency’s role when responding to a disclosure of sexual assault. What steps would your agency take in response to the disclosure of such an assault?
- How often do you encounter male sexual-assault victims? Are the services you offer different from those you offer female victims? If yes, how so?
- Do you provide services and assistance to juvenile victims? If so, are they different from those you offer adult victims? If yes, how so? Are there specific privacy precautions you take with juvenile victims?
- Do you ever NOT provide services or assistance to victims? If so, how do you screen victims to determine whether to provide services?
- What do you think are your biggest challenges in serving victims of sexual assault? How have you overcome those challenges? Or: What would help you overcome those challenges?
- For the medical forensic examiner: If a sexual assault victim goes to the hospital for a medical forensic exam, how is the forensic examiner notified? Who notifies you? What is the time frame for notification and response? What training does someone in your position receive to perform exams?
- For the victim advocate: If a sexual assault victim goes to the hospital for a medical forensic exam, how is the rape crisis center notified to provide advocacy there? Who notifies you? What is the time frame for notification and response? Who goes—paid staff versus volunteers? What kind of training do the rape crisis center’s staff and volunteers receive?
- For the law-enforcement representative: If a victim wishes to make a criminal report, at what point is crime scene evidence collected and a preliminary victim interview conducted? If a medical forensic exam is done but the victim is undecided about reporting, does your agency have provisions for secure storage of evidence? Do investigators receive specialized sexual assault training? If yes, please describe.
B. community sart
- How has being part of the SART affected the way your agency responds? What aspects of the SART, if any, are particularly useful? Please describe them.
- What kinds of trainings does the SART plan for its members? How are training topics decided?
- Do you think SART operations have changed over time? If so, how and why?
- How is the SART’s effectiveness measured? Are there periodic evaluations or reviews? If yes, describe. Have there been changes to SART operation due to evaluations or reviews? Can you give some examples?
C. interaction with the correctional agency
- Does your agency currently work with the correctional agency in any capacity? With any other correctional agencies? Did your agency do this in the past? If yes, please describe. Have you experienced any successes or significant challenges the agencies had working together? How did the agencies address challenges, if there were any? Were there any unique challenges in working with the juvenile facility? If so, how were those challenges addressed?
- For the law-enforcement representative: Does your agency investigate alleged crimes committed at the correctional facility? If yes: What types of offenses do you investigate? How are you notified? Who sees your reports and findings? How is the relationship between your agency and the correctional agency managed (for example, through an MOU, contract, or verbal agreement)? What special challenges, if any, do you face when investigating alleged criminal activity in a correctional facility? Can you describe any challenges when investigating corrections-based sexual assault? Do you conduct investigations differently when the victim is a juvenile and not an adult? If yes, please explain.
- For the prosecutor: How was/is the relationship between the correctional agency and the prosecutor’s office governed (for example, an MOU, contract, or verbal agreement)? Has the prosecutor’s office ever received a case of sexual assault alleged to have occurred at the correctional facility? If so, what happened in the case or cases?
- For the law-enforcement representative and prosecutor: What, if anything, do you know about how internal investigations are conducted at the correctional facility? Do you ever coordinate with internal investigators if they believe criminal activity took place? If yes, describe.
D. working with victims who are residents of correctional facilities
- What do you know about sexual assault in correctional settings? Have you heard about PREA—the Prison Rape Elimination Act—and its regulations? Any thoughts or concerns? What do you think would make PREA initiatives more effective (from a SART perspective)?
- What kind of sexual assault training would you suggest corrections staff receive for responding to a sexual assault? Are there any special trainings you would recommend for working with adult versus juvenile victims, male victims versus female victims, or special populations (such as victims who are LGBTQI, Deaf, or who have disabilities)?
- For the victim advocate and forensic examiner: Has your agency provided services to victims in detention? If yes, did you experience any challenges in working with them? If yes, please describe. Does your staff receive any special training or information about working with individuals housed in correctional facilities? What kind of training would you want your staff to receive before working with sexual assault victims from the correctional facility? Do you think forensic examiners and victim advocates are willing to provide services to these victims?
- For the law-enforcement representative: What, if any, specialized training do investigators receive about the correctional environment? Juvenile detention? Corrections-based sexual assault?
- What resources do you think you can offer to the correctional facility to enhance response to sexual assault of its residents? What additional resources, if any, do you think you would need to support these victims? Do you think you will have any different needs or require different resources to provide services to victims in the juvenile detention setting?
- Do you think you will need to invest more resources or add more personnel—or both—to serve victims in this setting? Why or why not?
- What service limitations or issues do you anticipate, if any, in working with victims of corrections-based sexual assault?