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Third in a series of volumes relating the results of a two-year study of police criminal investigation practices and their impacts, this report presents a comprehensive description of current investigative practices (based on data gathered in the course of the study) and an analysis of related effectiveness issues. Approaches to measuring investigative effectiveness are evaluated, findings from previous research are presented, and a sample of cases is used to determine which activities are primarily responsible for the solution of various types of cases. The relationship between the thoroughness with which evidentiary facts are documented by the police and the eventual outcome of the case is examined, as well as the attitudes of victims toward various investigative strategies and the amount of feedback information they would like to receive. The role of physical evidence collection and processing is analyzed, and fingerprint identification sections in three cities are compared.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation report series. The report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1993 that represented the principal publication documenting and transmitting RAND's major research findings and final research.

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