Rape Law Reform

A Grassroots Revolution and Its Impact

  • Cassia Spohn
  • Julie Horney

Part of the The Springer Series in Crime and Justice book series (PSIC)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages 1-13
  2. Cassia Spohn, Julie Horney
    Pages 15-32
  3. Cassia Spohn, Julie Horney
    Pages 33-46
  4. Cassia Spohn, Julie Horney
    Pages 47-74
  5. Cassia Spohn, Julie Horney
    Pages 75-105
  6. Cassia Spohn, Julie Horney
    Pages 107-130
  7. Cassia Spohn, Julie Horney
    Pages 131-156
  8. Cassia Spohn, Julie Horney
    Pages 157-175
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 177-192

About this book


This book evolved from our interest in rape as feminists and as sodal sdentists. As feminists, we were concemed about the treatment of rape victims and the attrition in rape cases under traditional rape law, and we welcomed legal reforms designed to improve the situation. As sodal sdentists, we wondered about the efficacy of legal changes aimed at an inherently resistant court system. We also were curious about the lack of studies examining the impact of these changes; we were particularly surprised to find that no one had attempted to ana­ lyze the impact of the reforms in more than one jurisdiction. Con­ vinced that untangling the effects of the reforms from the effects of contextual factors required a multijurisdictional study, we deeided to undertake the project. We quickly discovered that evaluating rape law reform in several jurisdictions would be no easy task. We had deeided that such an evaluation would require monthly data on the outcome of rape cases before and after the reforms were implemented, as weIl as qualitative data on the attitudes of criminal justice officials toward the reforms. Because states do not generate monthly data on case outcomes, we would have to collect the data ourse1ves from court records main­ tained by individual jurisdictions. To obtain an adequate number of cases for the time-series analysis, we would have to select our sites from large urban jurisdictions scattered throughout the United States.


Evolution Revolution evaluation

Authors and affiliations

  • Cassia Spohn
    • 1
  • Julie Horney
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Criminal JusticeUniversity of Nebraska at OmahaOmahaUSA

Bibliographic information