The Adult Sexual Assault Task Force (Jacksonville, Fla.) was convened on May 16, 1996 by Harry L. Shorstein, State Attorney of the Fourth Judicial Circuit. The group was charged with conducting a full review of the criminal justice and direct service processes as it related to the crime of sexual battery. Chaired by Kathy Chinoy, the Task Force consisted of twelve members of the Jacksonville community chosen on the basis of their professional involvement with the crime of sexual battery. The Task Force held meetings on a semi-monthly basis from 1996-1998, interviewed dozens of professionals within the field, interviewed and surveyed victims, reviewed educational reports, studies and other resources, and developed a set of recommendations described in a final report issued on February 18, 1998. Their primary recommendation called for the creation of an independent Rape Advisory Council to educate the community and reform the system.
Shortly thereafter, the Sexual Assault Advisory Council (SAAC) was established on May 19, 1998 by Jacksonville Mayor John A. Delaney. As per the City of Jacksonville Executive Order 98-214, the Council was charged with providing oversight and coordination of the community's response to the crime of sexual assault, assuring the integration of services and programs for sexual assault victims, and implementing the recommendations of the Adult Sexual Assault Task Force. The Council was composed of 16 members selected by the Jacksonville Mayor, Sheriff, State Attorney, Chief Judge, Superintendent of Schools, and the Naval Command. Five positions were also filled by the Executive Directors of Hubbard House and the Women's Center of Jacksonville, City Division Chiefs of Victim Services and Disabled Services, and the Adult Sexual Assault Coalition. Mayor Delaney appointed Shirley K. Webb, Executive Director of the Women's Center of Jacksonville, to serve as the first Chair of the Council. Dr. Christine Rasche, Associate Professor of Criminal Justice at the University of North Florida, was appointed Vice Chair. The first meeting of the Council was held on July 15, 1999.
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