Calgary Police Latest to Adopt the “Philadelphia Case Review Model” for Reviewing Unfounded Rape Cases

We’ve been traveling lately.

In just the last few weeks, WLP attorneys have been to cities across the United States and Canada conducting trainings to help advocates and police replicate our annual review of “unfounded” sex crime files at the Philadelphia Police Department, a best practice sometimes referred to as the “Philadelphia Case Review Model.”

Soon, we’ll share more details about this work and how our project in Philadelphia, originally developed out of scandal, is rapidly spreading as police and advocates look for innovative ways to improve police response to sexual assault.

Last week, the Calgary Police Service became the latest city to announce they are adopting the model. They will have five outside agencies review sexual assault cases that police officers have deemed to be unfounded.

WLP Executive Director recently spoke with CBC News about our work with fellow advocates in Philadelphia, and the challenges of addressing and eliminating gender bias in rape investigations.

From the article:

Tracy described the review model as a relatively simple process.

“A group of us from four agencies sit around a table. We review all unfounded rape cases and we also look at a cross section of open cases,” she said.

The group is looking to see if the cases have been properly and thoroughly investigated.

“The most important thing we then look for is their gender bias. Are interviews really interrogations? Are unnecessary questions — irrelevant questions — being asked, like what were you wearing? Why were you wearing that? Why were you out by yourself? Questions like that,” Tracy said.

Read the full article here.

The Women’s Law Project is the only public interest law center in Pennsylvania devoted to advancing the rights of women and girls.

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About womenslawproject

The Women's Law Project creates a more just and equitable society by advancing the rights and status of all women throughout their lives. To this end, we engage in high-impact litigation, advocacy, and education.
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