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SAVRAA Independent Expert Consultant

SAVRAA Independent Expert Consultant Work Plan

This work plan reflects the goals and objectives submitted in the consultant’s original proposal and takes into account the timeline established under the contract with the Office of Victim Services from November 10, 2014 through October 1, 2015.

While the purpose of the consultant’s work is to provide reports to the Metropolitan Police Department, the Council of the District of Columbia, the Mayor’s Office, and the general public, conversations will be ongoing regarding suggested changes to ensure that progress continues in a timely way for sexual assault victims in the District of Columbia.

The Independent Expert Consultant reserves the right to change the work plan within the boundaries established by the statute, and to delve more or less deeply into any particular portion of it as information provided dictates over the course of the year.

The reports from this project will be produced beginning in May, 2015 with a report to the Chief of Police for her review and comment which will then be provided to the DC City Council, the Executive Office of the Mayor and the general public.

Goal I: Through interviews, reviews of policies, protocols and training content and processes, determine whether MPD’s implementation of reforms made after March, 2013 encompassed in the Sexual Assault Victims’ Right Amendment Act of 2014 are being fully and correctly implemented and are having a positive effect on overall investigations of sexual assaults.

Objective 1: To review MPD General Orders, Special Orders, Standard Operating Procedures, and any other directives to ensure that MPD has a detailed, victim-centered sexual assault response policy that comports with best practices and current professional standards including but not limited to the International Chiefs of Police Model Policy on Sexual Assaults.

1) Review all relevant MPD policies, general orders, special orders and other directives; (December, 2015)
2) Provide comparison of policies with IACP Model Policy and National Sexual Assault Resource Project best practices; (January, 2015)
3) Interview MPD detectives, supervisors and victim advocates to determine understanding and experience of current policies and processes; (January – April 2015)
4) Provide recommendations for improvements and/or changes in to directives and policies; (February, April, July, October, 2015)

Objective 2: To assess training provided to MPD officers, detectives, and new recruits to ensure that training incorporates developments in applicable law, including SAVRAA, and current best practices, that testing is administered effectively, and that investigators and supervisors get in-depth advanced training consistent with best practices.

1) Obtain and review copies of curriculum provided to new recruits, patrol officers, detectives and supervisors, respectively, from MPD’s Police Academy; (December, 2015)
2) Meet with staff at the Police Academy to discuss testing and scores, and review tests given with an eye towards both overall score and areas that may require additional training; (January 2015)
3) Meet with Police Academy staff providing training for investigators and supervisors; (January - February, 2015)
4) Review content of training provided to investigators and supervisors and observe training in progress where possible; (February – April, 2015)
5) Interview investigators and supervisors regarding training program with an eye towards what they would like to learn and feel they need additional training on; (January – April, 2015)
6) Review feedback provided to MPD from the public about MPD’s response to sexual assault cases including surveys, complaints and any other feedback provided through email or MPD’s web page that indicates a potential training issue; (March, 2013)
7) Make recommendations for changes to training program; (February, April, July, October, 2015)

Objective 3: To assess the overall processing of sexual assault cases to ensure that the processes required by SAVRAA are being implemented, that all reported cases are properly classified and fully documented, and that all evidence kits for cases reported to law enforcement are properly processed.

1) Create internal tracking system to match DCFNE, MPD and DFS files; (December, 2014)
2) Review a random sample of MPD files and records related to approximately 350 cases arising after March 2013, including sexual assault investigative files and other cases with sexual elements that may not have been classified as such from the start of the case through its resolution; (December 2014 – April, 2015)
3) Conduct confidential interviews with forensic nurse examiners, sexual assault victim advocates, MPD personnel and others with direct knowledge of how the sexual assault response process is functioning; (January – May, 2015)
4) Within 120 days from start of the project (by March 15, 2015), audit all sexual assault examination kits (PERKs) in which a victim chose to report to law enforcement to
determine if MPD reports correspond to these cases and kits, and that the kits have been delivered to the Department of Forensic Sciences for processing; (March, 2015)
5) Review feedback from the public about MPD’s response to sexual assault cases including surveys, complaints and any other feedback that indicates a case processing issue; (March, 2015)

Goal II: To assess the case review process through the Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) to ensure that a functioning process is in place, that a victim-centered coordinated community response is reflected in the SART process, and to make recommendations for changes and improvement.

Objective 1: To ensure the case review process and policies reflect national best practices as described by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) and the Office on Victims of Crime.

1) Review all written policies and procedures related to the SART; (November, 2014 – April, 2015)
2) Make recommendations for changes to current policies; (February, April, July, 2015)
3) Provide a written report on case review process for review by SART members, the Chief of Police, the Office of Victim Services and the DC City Council. (September, 2015)

Objective 2: To ensure that the SART is functioning in a constructive and productive manner to improve the response to sexual assault services and offender accountability in a victim-centered manner.

1) Observe and participate in monthly SART meetings; (November, 2014 – August, 2015)
2) Propose cases for review that highlight particularly relevant issues to the group members;
3) Interview team members to determine what would make the team function more effectively. (March – August, 2015)
4) Make recommendations for changes and improvements (February, April, July, Sept., 2015)

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