Effective SARTs have several common characteristics: formalization (written policies for working together on individual cases and larger projects in the form of a memoranda of understanding or agreement [MOU/MOA]),11 regular collaborative processes, and broad active membership from diverse stakeholder groups.12 According to the research, SART composition varies by office, with an average of 12 organizations involved in a team.13 SARTs improve experiences of victims seeking help, lead to more successful legal outcomes, and promote sexual assault prevention/education.14 Research suggests that the most successful SARTs follow these promising practices:15
- Prosecutors fully support and regularly participate in the SART, including attendance at all SART meetings;16
- The chief prosecutor lends political support to the SART and its efforts;
- Review of both open and closed cases within the SART context;
- Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner (SAFE) training is in place to ensure competency for expert testimony in court;
- Prosecutorial involvement in SART is institutionalized via MOU/MOAs incorporated into the SART’s policies and procedures.