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Dismantling the justice silos: Flowcharting the role and expertise of forensic science, forensic medicine and allied health in adult sexual assault investigations

Kelty, SF, Julian, R ORCID: 0000-0003-0634-2055, Bruenisholz, E and Wilson-Wilde, L 2018 , 'Dismantling the justice silos: Flowcharting the role and expertise of forensic science, forensic medicine and allied health in adult sexual assault investigations' , Forensic Science International, vol. 285 , pp. 21-28 , doi: 10.1016/j.forsciint.2018.01.015.

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Forensic science is increasingly used to help exonerate the innocent and establishing links betweenindividuals and criminal activities. With increased reliance on scientific services provided by multidisciplinary(police, medicine, law, forensic science), and multi-organisational in the private andgovernment sectors (health, justice, legal, police) practitioners, the potential for miscommunicationresulting unjust outcomes increases. The importance of identifying effective multi-organisationalinformation sharing is to prevent the ‘justice silo effect’; where practitioners from different organisationsoperate in isolation with minimal or no interaction. This paper presents the findings from the second partof the Interfaces Project, an Australia-wide study designed to assess the extent of the justice silos. Weinterviewed 121 police, forensic scientists, lawyers, judges, coroners, pathologists and forensicphysicians. The first paper published in 2013 presented two key findings: first investigative meetingswere rare in adult sexual assault cases; second many medical practitioners were semi-invisible in casedecision-making with this low level of visibility being due to lawyers, forensic scientists or police notbeing aware of the role/expertise medical practitioners offer. These findings led to the development of aflowchart model for adult sexual assault that highlights the range of agencies and practitioners typicallyinvolved in sexual assault. The rationale for the flowchart is to produce a visual representation of a typicalsexual assault investigative process highlighting where and who plays a role in order to minimise the riskof justice silos. This is the second paper in a series of two.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Kelty, SF and Julian, R and Bruenisholz, E and Wilson-Wilde, L
Keywords: forensic science, forensic medicine, sexual assault
Journal or Publication Title: Forensic Science International
Publisher: Elsevier Sci Ireland Ltd
ISSN: 0379-0738
DOI / ID Number: 10.1016/j.forsciint.2018.01.015
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2018 Elsevier B.V.

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