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Impact of Proactive Enforcement of No-Contact Orders on Victim Safety and Repeat Victimization in Lexington County, South Carolina, 2005-2008 (ICPSR 25261)

Principal Investigator(s):

Summary:

The study focused on domestic violence victims whose alleged batterers were free on bond with a no-contact order (NCO) as a condition of their release in Lexington County, South Carolina between 2005 and 2008. The project involved a prospective, randomized experimental study in which 466 NCO cases were randomly assigned to either the current level of NCO enforcement (the control condition, N=229) or to proactive enforcement (the treatment condition, N=237). An additional 51 interim control cases were enrolled in the study during a coverage gap between the two officers that implemented the treatment condition over the course of the study. The treatment condition involved the following intervention: (1) a special domestic violence investigator assigned by the jurisdiction's sheriff proactively "checked in" with the "treatment" group of victims to verify that they understood the NCO and to monitor compliance; (2) the investigator provided advice on mobilizing law enforcement and collecting evidence to help sanction the offender if the order was violated. Data were collected from official Lexington County Sheriff's Department (LCSD), Criminal Domestic Violence Court (CDVC), and Office of Diversion Programs (ODP) records (Dataset 1, Offender Data). Efforts were made to interview victims at six weeks (Dataset 2, Time 1 Victim Interview Data, N=141) and six months (Dataset 3, Time 2 Victim Interview Data, N=100) after the gateway arrest. Dataset 4 (Combined Time 1/Time 2 Victim Interview Data, N=97) include overall measures for respondents who completed both the Time 1 and Time 2 interviews. The victim interviews include measures on background characteristics, life experiences, circumstances surrounding the "gateway incident" which resulted in the case being enrolled in the study, and subsequent victimization experiences and no-contact order compliance levels.

Access Notes

  • One or more files in this study are not available for download due to special restrictions ; consult the restrictions note to learn more. You can apply online for access to the data. A login is required to apply for access. (How to apply.)

    Access to these data is restricted. Users interested in obtaining these data must complete a Restricted Data Use Agreement, specify the reasons for the request, and obtain IRB approval or notice of exemption for their research.

Dataset(s)

DS0:  Study-Level Files
Documentation:
DS1:  Offender Data
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No downloadable data files available.
DS2:  Time 1 Victim Interview Data (Weighted for Non-Response)
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DS3:  Time 2 Victim Interview Data (Weighted for Non-Response)
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No downloadable data files available.
DS4:  Combined Time 1/Time 2 Victim Interview Data (Weighted for Non-Response)
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No downloadable data files available.
DS5:  Time 1 Victim Interview Data (Unweighted)
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No downloadable data files available.
DS6:  Time 2 Victim Interview Data (Unweighted)
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No downloadable data files available.
DS7:  Combined Time 1/Time 2 Victim Interview Data (Unweighted)
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No downloadable data files available.

Study Description

Citation

Brame, Robert, Catherine Kaukinen, Angela R. Gover, and Pamela Lattimore. Impact of Proactive Enforcement of No-Contact Orders on Victim Safety and Repeat Victimization in Lexington County, South Carolina, 2005-2008. ICPSR25261-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2013-07-31. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR25261.v1

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Funding

This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (2004-WG-BX-0007)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   battered women, domestic violence, misdemeanor offenses, recidivism, restraining orders, victim safety

Geographic Coverage:   South Carolina, United States

Time Period:  

  • 2005-11--2008-06

Date of Collection:  

  • 2005-11--2008-06

Unit of Observation:   individual

Universe:   All individual offenders charged with misdemeanor domestic violence and their victims in Lexington County, South Carolina between 2005 and 2008.

Data Types:   administrative records data, survey data

Data Collection Notes:

Two versions of the Victim Interview Data are available as part of this data collection. Dataset 2, Dataset 3, and Dataset 4 are weighted for nonresponse. Dataset 5, Dataset 6, and Dataset 7 are unweighted. The datasets are identical except for the weight variables.

Methodology

Study Purpose:  

The purpose of the study was to assess whether proactive enforcement of court imposed no-contact orders (NCOs):

  • Increased victim knowledge about no-contact orders;
  • Reduced contact between offenders and victims; and
  • Increased victim safety and promoted well-being.

Study Design:  

The study examined the impact of proactive enforcement of court imposed no-contact orders (NCOs) on offender behavior and victim safety in cases of misdemeanor domestic violence. Misdemeanor criminal domestic violence cases were randomly assigned to either systematic, proactive enforcement or to routine, reactive enforcement of court ordered no-contact conditions between November 2005 and July 2007. The treatment condition involved the following intervention: (1) a special domestic violence investigator assigned by the jurisdiction's sheriff proactively "checked in" with the "treatment" group of victims to verify that they understood the NCO and to monitor compliance; (2) the investigator provided advice on mobilizing law enforcement and collecting evidence to help sanction the offender if the order was violated. Law enforcement contacts were directed at victims in the treatment group whose abusers had been arrested for domestic violence and released on bond with the restriction that the offenders have no contact with their victims.

Dedicated officer contacts were divided into two types. Those contacts prior to the first court appearances were designed to educate victims on NCOs, provide them information on criminal domestic violence and NCOs, teach them how to document offender contact, and conduct offender surveillance. These contacts included an initial mail contact and in-person or phone contacts. The personal contacts were scheduled to occur 72 hours after the NCO's imposition, one week after the imposition, and one week prior to first appearance.

The second set of attempted victim contacts were to occur after the offenders' first court appearance. The goal of these contacts was continued risk assessment, visits to check on victims, and offender surveillance. The schedule for these contacts would vary according to the offender's path through the criminal justice system. For pretrial intervention cases attempts were made to contact victims once every three months, for bench trial cases contacts were scheduled within five days of the bench trial, and for jury trial cases contact was scheduled every three months and 48 hours before the jury trial.

The effectiveness of the proactive enforcement of no-contact orders was assessed using official criminal records (Dataset 1, Offender Data) and victim survey data (Dataset 2, Time 1 Victim Interview Data; Dataset 3, Time 2 Victim Interview Data; and Dataset 4, Combined Time 1/Time 2 Victim Interview Data).

After study enrollment ended in the summer of 2007, researchers obtained official criminal records for each of the offenders enrolled in the study (Dataset 1, Offender Data, N=517). Specific information about the incident that led to the case's inclusion in the study (the "gateway" incident), follow up arrest records (for arrests both before and after the gateway incident), and court dispositions were obtained from the Lexington County Sheriff's Department (LCSD), the Criminal Domestic Violence Court (CDVC), the Office of Diversion Programs (ODP), and the South Carolina Judicial Department Web site.

Interviews with victims commenced in January 2006. Efforts were made to contact each of the 437 female victims enrolled in the study. Interviews were targeted to occur at six weeks after the gateway incident (Dataset 2, Time 1 Victim Interview Data, N=141) and then again at six months after the gateway incident (Dataset 3, Time 2 Victim Interview Data, N=100). The vast majority of interviews were face-to-face meetings at a local hospital. In some instances when it was not possible for the victim to participate in a face-to-face interview, telephone interviews were conducted.

Sample:   The study used convenience sampling. Efforts were made to contact each of the 437 female victims enrolled in the study. Although there were 80 female offenders, only female victims cases were enrolled in the experiment. Therefore, no efforts were made to contact male victims for interviews.

Weight:   The victim interview data include non-response weight variables (Dataset 2: NONRESPONSEWEIGHT1; Dataset 3: NONRESPONSEWEIGHT2; and Dataset 4: NONRESPONSEWEIGHTCOMBINED). Users of this data are encouraged to see pages 103-105 of the final report for details regarding the calculation and implementation of the weight variables.

Mode of Data Collection:   record abstracts, face-to-face interview, paper and pencil interview (PAPI), telephone interview

Description of Variables:  

Dataset 1 (Offender Data) includes variables to measure offender demographic characteristics, details of the gateway incident, previous arrests, subsequent arrests, completion of a diversion program, and gateway incident case disposition.

The victim interviews (Dataset 2, Time 1 Victim Interview Data; and Dataset 3, Time 2 Victim Interview Data) include variables to measure victim demographic characteristics, living circumstances, life experiences, interactions with the offender, interactions with the Lexington County Sheriff's Department (LCSD) and the Criminal Domestic Violence Court (CDVC), an understanding of the no-contact order, safety, and well-being.

Dataset 4 (Combined Time 1/Time 2 Victim Interview Data) includes overall measures of safety, interactions with the offender, LCSD, and CDVC with 97 victims who completed both the Time 1 and Time 2 interviews.

Response Rates:   The response rate for Dataset 2 (Time 1 Victim Interview Data) was 141 interviews out of 437 potential respondents. The response rate for Dataset 3 (Time 2 Victim Interview Data) was 100 interviews out of 437 potential respondents. The response rate for Dataset 4 (Combined Time 1/Time 2 Victim Interview Data) was 97 interviews out of 437 potential respondents.

Presence of Common Scales:  

Scales used in Dataset 2 (Time 1 Victim Interview Data) and Dataset 3 (Time 2 Victim Interview Data) include:

  • Modified Beck Depression Inventory (Beck and Beck, 1972)
  • Revised Conflict Tactics Scale (CTS2) (Straus, et al., 1996) which includes the Psychological Aggression scale, the Physical Assault scale, the Sexual Coercion scale, the Injury scale, and the Stalking and Threats scale.

Extent of Processing:  ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Created variable labels and/or value labels.
  • Standardized missing values.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.

Version(s)

Original ICPSR Release:  

Version History:

  • 2013-07-31 Changes to the documentation.

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