Concerns about the treatment of rape victims and attrition in rape cases prompted states to reform their rape laws. Reformers expected the statutory changes to produce an increase in the number of reports of rape and to enhance the likelihood of arrest, prosecution, and conviction in rape cases. In this study we evaluate the impact of rape law reform in Illinois. We use time-series analysis to examine the reforms' effects on reports of rape and on the outcomes of nearly 6,000 rape cases filed in Cook County Circuit Court from 1970 to 1985. We find that the reforms did not produce the types of instrumental effects anticipated by reformers.
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