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Evaluation of Grants to Encourage Arrest Policies for Domestic Violence Cases in the State College, Pennsylvania, Police Department, 1999-2000 (ICPSR 3166)

Principal Investigator(s):

Summary:

This project was an 18-month long research-practitioner partnership to conduct a process evaluation of the State College Police Department's implementation of a grant to encourage arrest policies for domestic violence. The general goals of the process evaluation were to assess how and to what extent the State College Police Department's proposed activities were implemented as planned, based on the rationale that such activities would enhance the potential for increasing victim safety and perpetrator accountability systemically. As part of the grant, the police department sought to improve case tracking and services to victims by developing new specialized positions for domestic violence, including: (1) a domestic violence arrest coordinator from within the State College Police Department who was responsible for monitoring case outcomes through the courts and updating domestic violence policies and training (Part 1, Victim Tracking Data from Domestic Violence Coordinator), (2) a victims service attorney from Legal Services who was responsible for handling civil law issues for domestic violence victims, including support, child custody, employment, financial, consumer, public benefits, and housing issues (Part 2, Victim Tracking Data From Victim Services Attorney), and (3) an intensive domestic violence probation officer from the Centre County Probation and Parole Department who was responsible for providing close supervision and follow-up of batterers (Part 3, Offender Tracking Data). Researchers worked with practitioners to develop databases suitable for monitoring service provision by the three newly-created positions for domestic violence cases. Major categories of data collected on the victim tracking form (Parts 1 and 2) included location of initial contact, type of initial contact, referral source, reason for initial contact, service/consultation provided at initial contact, meetings, and referrals out. Types of services provided include reporting abuse, filing a Protection from Abuse order, legal representation, and assistance with court procedures. Major categories of data collected on the offender tracking form (Part 3) included location of initial contact, type of initial contact, referral source, reason for initial contact, service/consultation provided, charges, sentence received, relationship between the victim and perpetrator, marital status, children in the home, referrals out, presentencing investigation completed, prior criminal history, and reason for termination. Types of services provided include pre-sentence investigation, placement on supervision, and assessment and evaluation. In addition to developing these new positions, the police department also sought to improve how officers handled domestic violence cases through a two-day training program. The evaluation conducted pre- and post-training assessments of all personnel training in 1999 and conducted follow-up surveys to assess the long-term impact of training. For Part 4, Police Training Survey Data, surveys were administered to law enforcement personnel participating in a two-day domestic violence training program. Surveys were administered both before and after the training program and focused on knowledge about domestic violence policies and protocols, attitudes and beliefs about domestic violence, and the background and experience of the officers. Within six months after the training, the same participants were contacted to complete a follow-up survey. Variables in Part 4 measure how well officers knew domestic violence arrest policies, their attitudes toward abused women and how to handle domestic violence cases, and their opinions about training. Demographic variables in Part 4 include age, sex, race, education, and years in law enforcement.

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:  Victim Tracking Data From Domestic Violence Coordinator
Download:
No downloadable data files available.
DS2:  Victim Tracking Data From Victim Services Attorney
Download:
No downloadable data files available.
DS3:  Offender Tracking Data
Download:
No downloadable data files available.
DS4:  Police Training Survey Data
Download:
No downloadable data files available.

Study Description

Citation

Mastrofski, Jennifer Adams. EVALUATION OF GRANTS TO ENCOURAGE ARREST POLICIES FOR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CASES IN THE STATE COLLEGE, PENNSYLVANIA, POLICE DEPARTMENT, 1999-2000. ICPSR version. State College, PA: Pennsylvania State University, Justice and Safety Institute [producer], 2001. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2001. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR03166.v1

Persistent URL:

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Funding

This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (98-WE-VX-K012)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   arrest procedures, case management, case processing, domestic violence, offender profiles, police officers, police training, policies and procedures, process evaluation, victim safety, victim services

Geographic Coverage:   Pennsylvania, United States

Unit of Observation:   Parts 1-3: Cases. Part 4: Individuals.

Universe:   Parts 1-3: All domestic violence victims and offenders in State College, Pennsylvania, between 1999 and 2000. Part 4: All law enforcement officers participating in domestic violence training from the State College Police Department in 1999.

Data Types:   event/transaction data, and survey data

Data Collection Notes:

(1) The data available in this collection are part of a broader evaluation project. Other components of the evaluation that are not available through this data collection include the evaluation of a fourth newly-created position (safety auditor coordinator), tracking time spent on various activities by the newly-created positions, and a survey of non-law enforcement personnel who participated in the domestic violence training program. Users are strongly encouraged to obtain the Final Report for this project in order to understand the entire process evaluation. (2) The user guide, codebook, and data collection instruments are provided by ICPSR as Portable Document Format (PDF) files. The PDF file format was developed by Adobe Systems Incorporated and can be accessed using PDF reader software, such as the Adobe Acrobat Reader. Information on how to obtain a copy of the Acrobat Reader is provided on the ICPSR Web site.

Methodology

Study Purpose:   This project was an 18-month long research-practitioner partnership to conduct a process evaluation of the State College Police Department's implementation of a grant to encourage arrest policies for domestic violence. As part of this grant, the police department sought to improve case tracking and services to victims by developing new specialized positions for domestic violence, including: (1) a domestic violence arrest coordinator from within the State College Police Department who was responsible for monitoring case outcomes through the courts and updating domestic violence policies and training, (2) a victims service attorney from Legal Services who was responsible for handling civil law issues for domestic violence victims, including support, child custody, employment, financial, consumer, public benefits, and housing issues, and (3) an intensive domestic violence probation officer from the Centre County Probation and Parole Department who was responsible for providing close supervision and follow-up of batterers. Researchers worked with practitioners to assess the development of newly-created positions to better serve domestic violence victims, evaluate performance of personnel in these positions, and examine activities associated with the development of a systemwide, inter-agency database. In addition to the development of these new positions, the police department also sought to improve how officers handled domestic violence cases through a two-day training program. The evaluation conducted pre- and post-training assessments of all personnel training in 1999 and conducted follow-up surveys to assess the long-term impact of training. The general goals of the process evaluation were to assess how and to what extent the State College Police Department's proposed activities were implemented as planned, based on the rationale that such activities would enhance the potential for increasing victim safety and perpetrator accountability systemically. However, this evaluation, as a process model, was not designed to test whether the proposed activities actually increased victim safety and perpetrator accountability (which would be appropriate goals in an impact evaluation).

Study Design:   Researchers worked with practitioners to develop databases suitable for monitoring service provision by the three newly-created positions for domestic violence cases. Major categories of data collected on the victim tracking form (Parts 1 and 2) included location of initial contact, type of initial contact, referral source, reason for initial contact, service/ consultation provided at initial contact, meetings, and referrals out. Major categories of data collected on the offender tracking form (Part 3) included location of initial contact, type of initial contact, referral source, reason for initial contact, service/consultation provided, charges, sentence received, relationship between the victim and perpetrator, marital status, children in the home, referrals out, presentencing investigation completed, prior criminal history, and reason for termination. For Part 4, surveys were administered to law enforcement personnel participating in a two-day domestic violence training program. Surveys were administered both before and after the training program and focused on knowledge about domestic violence policies and protocols, attitudes and beliefs about domestic violence, and the background and experience of the officers. Within six months after the training, the same participants were contacted to complete a follow-up survey. This survey included questions about domestic violence incidents the officers encountered at work, how they worked with non-law enforcement agencies, and input on future training.

Data Source:

case tracking databases and self-enumerated questionnaires

Description of Variables:   Variables in Parts 1-3 include location and type of initial and follow-up contacts, reasons for initial and follow-up contacts, referral sources, and types of services offered at initial and follow-up contacts. In Parts 1 and 2, types of services provided include reporting abuse, filing a Protection from Abuse order, legal representation, and assistance with court procedures. In Part 3, types of services provided include pre-sentence investigation, placement on supervision, and assessment and evaluation. Part 3 also includes variables on the family and living situation of offenders, as well as prior criminal history. Variables in Part 4 measured how well officers knew domestic violence arrest policies, their attitudes toward abused women and how to handle domestic violence cases, and their opinions about training. Demographic variables in Part 4 include age, sex, race, education, and years in law enforcement.

Response Rates:   Parts 1-3: Not applicable. Part 4: The pre- and post-training surveys had response rates of 100 percent and the follow-up survey had a response rate of 56 percent.

Presence of Common Scales:   Several Likert-type scales were used in Part 4.

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:

  • Standardized missing values.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.

Version(s)

Original ICPSR Release:  

Version History:

  • 2006-03-30 File UG3166.ALL.PDF was removed from any previous datasets and flagged as a study-level file, so that it will accompany all downloads.
  • 2006-03-30 File CB3166.ALL.PDF was removed from any previous datasets and flagged as a study-level file, so that it will accompany all downloads.

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