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Pub. Type:
Report
Title:
Chicago Heights, Illinois, Domestic Violence Unit: A Process Evaluation
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Abstract:
A section on the project environment encompasses a brief history of Chicago Heights and an overview of State law relevant to domestic violence, notably laws pertinent to protection orders and stalking. This is followed by an overview of law enforcement agencies that serve Chicago Heights, as well as the courts, with attention to the policies and practices regarding domestic-violence cases. The overall goal of the Arrest Program is to develop a coordinated approach to domestic violence by creating a centralized domestic violence unit that involves police, legal advocates, and a battered women's shelter. Specific objectives are to create a Domestic Violence Unit in the police department; to provide legal-advocacy services to victims; and to develop policies and procedures, supported by training and protocols, that improve the tracking of domestic-violence cases. The partnership between the South Suburban Family Shelter (SSFS) and the Chicago Heights Police Department evolved from a previous relationship the project director had established with the shelter. Since SSFS victim advocates are on-site with the Domestic Violence Unit, communication between these organizations is constant. The Domestic Violence Unit encountered several problems in handling cases and helping victims. Initially, reports by patrol officers were poorly written and not sufficiently detailed; officers were not enforcing protection orders; victims did not trust the detectives and would not cooperate; the court victim advocate was overwhelmed with cases; and the four detectives in the Domestic Violence Unit had large caseloads. Site interviews that were part of the process evaluation found that probation officers were not consistently monitoring domestic-violence offenders who had been given court-ordered counseling or probation. source
Issue/No.:
NCJ 201881
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