Evaluation of the child sexual offence evidence pilot: final outcome evaluation report

[7-320] Article

J Cashmore and R Shackel, “Evaluation of the child sexual offence evidence pilot: final outcome evaluation report”.

This final outcome evaluation report was prepared for Victims Services, NSW Department of Justice in August 2018.

Abstract

The Child Sexual Offence Evidence Pilot (the Pilot) introduced three special measures:

  • witness intermediaries to assess children’s needs and communication capacities both at the police interview and at court, broadly based on the UK Witness Intermediary Scheme

  • the use of pre-recorded evidence hearings for child complainants and witnesses giving their evidence prior to the balance of the trial, and

  • the appointment of two specialist District Court judges to manage the pre-recorded evidence hearings in prescribed child sexual offence matters.

This is the final report of the evaluation of the Child Sexual Offence Evidence Pilot in NSW. It outlines the findings of the outcome evaluation and presents an assessment of the impact and effectiveness of the special measures introduced by the Pilot and recommendations for possible improvements to, and future development of those measures, related processes, and implications for a wider and sustainable roll out. Some key challenges and risks for expansion of the Pilot are identified.