“Our Response Just Wasn’t Good Enough:” Overhauling our Criminal Justice System Response

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60 Minutes

Originally Aired
April 11, 2023

John Choi
John Choi, JD
Ramsay County Attorney

In 2016, we knew there was something missing in the criminal justice response to sexual assault victims in Ramsey County, Minnesota. We were polite in our interactions with victims, and we took victims’ wishes into account. We regularly took cases to trial and won many of them, but reporting rates were low and not increasing. Many victims dropped out of the process, and we didn’t always understand why. I knew deep down that our response just wasn’t good enough. Survivors weren’t getting the help they need. We weren’t achieving justice for many victims. That all began to change when Ramsey County embarked on a 6-year journey which resulted in sweeping changes to our criminal justice response. 

This session will address how stakeholders from every law enforcement agency in the county, along with advocates and SANE nurses, joined the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office to develop the “Sexual Assault Response Collaboration (SARC).” Presenters will discuss how we overhauled the process: from the initial report and forensic exam to the resulting actions of advocates, investigators, forensic nurse examiners, and prosecutors. 


As a result of this webinar, participants will be better able to:

  • Recognize the value of heightened collaboration and leadership to identify problems, solutions and improving outcomes.
  • Building Coalitions and stakeholders and centering that work to better serve victims.
  • Employ strategies for facilitating communication and resource sharing among all justice partners, stakeholders, and the public.
  • Identify tools for measuring system gaps, progress, and accountability.
  • Identify collaborative techniques to better serve at-risk populations.

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