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Impact Evaluation of Stop Violence Against Women Grants in Dane County, Wisconsin, Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, Jackson County, Missouri, and Stark County, Ohio, 1996-2000 (ICPSR 3252) RSS

Principal Investigator(s):

Summary:

In 1996 the Institute for Law and Justice (ILJ) began an evaluation of the law enforcement and prosecution components of the "STOP Violence Against Women" grant program authorized by the Violence Against Women Act of 1994. This data collection constitutes one component of the evaluation. The researchers chose to evaluate two specialized units and two multi-agency team projects in order to study the local impact of STOP on victim safety and offender accountability. The two specialized units reflected typical STOP funding, with money being used for the addition of one or two dedicated professionals in each community. The Dane County, Wisconsin, Sheriff's Office used STOP funds to support the salaries of two domestic violence detectives. This project was evaluated through surveys of domestic violence victims served by the Dane County Sheriff's Office (Part 1). In Stark County, Ohio, the Office of the Prosecutor used STOP funds to support the salary of a designated felony domestic violence prosecutor. The Stark County project was evaluated by tracking domestic violence cases filed with the prosecutor's office. The case tracking system included only cases involving intimate partner violence, with a male offender and female victim. All domestic violence felons from 1996 were tracked from arrest to disposition and sentence (Part 2). This pre-grant group of felons was compared with a sample of cases from 1999 (Part 3). In Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, a comprehensive evaluation strategy was used to assess the impact of the use of STOP funds on domestic violence cases. First, a sample of 1996 pre-grant and 1999 post-grant domestic violence cases was tracked from arrest to disposition for both regular domestic violence cases (Part 4) and also for dual arrest cases (Part 5). Second, a content analysis of police incident reports from pre- and post-grant periods was carried out to gauge any changes in report writing (Part 6). Finally, interviews were conducted with victims to document their experiences with the criminal justice system, and to better understand the factors that contribute to victim safety and well-being (Part 7). In Jackson County, Missouri, evaluation methods included reviews of prosecutor case files and tracking all sex crimes referred to the Jackson County Prosecutor's Office over both pre-grant and post-grant periods (Part 8). The evaluation also included personal interviews with female victims (Part 9). Variables in Part 1 (Dane County Victim Survey Data) describe the relationship of the victim and offender, injuries sustained, who called the police and when, how the police responded to the victim and the situation, how the detective contacted the victim, and services provided by the detective. Part 2 (1996 Stark County Case Tracking Data), Part 3 (1999 Stark County Case Tracking Data), Part 4 (Hillsborough County Regular Case Tracking Data), Part 5 (Hillsborough County Dual Arrest Case Tracking Data), and Part 8 (Jackson County Case Tracking Data) include variables on substance abuse by victim and offender, use of weapons, law enforcement response, primary arrest offense, whether children were present, injuries sustained, indictment charge, pre-sentence investigation, victim impact statement, arrest and trial dates, disposition, sentence, and court costs. Demographic variables include the age, sex, and ethnicity of the victim and the offender. Variables in Part 6 (Hillsborough County Police Report Data) provide information on whether there was an existing protective order, whether the victim was interviewed separately, severity of injuries, seizure of weapons, witnesses present, involvement of children, and demeanor of suspect and victim. In Part 7 (Hillsborough County Victim Interview Data) variables focus on whether victims had prior experience with the court, type of physical abuse experienced, injuries from abuse, support from relatives, friends, neighbors, doctor, religious community, or police, assistance from police, satisfaction with police response, expectations about case outcome, why the victim dropped the charges, contact with the prosecutor, criminal justice advocate, and judge, and the outcome of the case. Demographic variables include age, race, number of children, and occupation. Variables in Part 9 (Jackson County Victim Interview Data) relate to when victims were sexually assaulted, if they knew the perpetrator, who was contacted to help, victims' opinions about police and detectives who responded to the case, contact with the prosecutor and victim's advocate, and aspects of the medical examination. Demographic variables include age, race, and marital status.

Access Notes

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    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
DS1:  Dane County Victim Survey Data
Download:
No downloadable data files available.
DS2:  1996 Stark County Case Tracking Data
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No downloadable data files available.
DS3:  1999 Stark County Case Tracking Data
Download:
No downloadable data files available.
DS4:  Hillsborough County Regular Case Tracking Data
Download:
No downloadable data files available.
DS5:  Hillsborough County Dual Arrest Case Tracking Data
Download:
No downloadable data files available.
DS6:  Hillsborough County Police Report Data
Download:
No downloadable data files available.
DS7:  Hillsborough County Victim Interview Data
Download:
No downloadable data files available.
DS8:  Jackson County Case Tracking Data
Download:
No downloadable data files available.
DS9:  Jackson County Victim Interview Data
Download:
No downloadable data files available.

Study Description

Citation

Uekert, Brenda K., Neal Miller, and Cheron Dupree. Impact Evaluation of Stop Violence Against Women Grants in Dane County, Wisconsin, Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, Jackson County, Missouri, and Stark County, Ohio, 1996-2000. ICPSR03252-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2001. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR03252.v1

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Export Citation:

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  • EndNote XML (EndNote X4.0.1 or higher)

Funding

This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (96-WT-NX-0007)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   battered women, case processing, disposition (legal), domestic violence, police response, program evaluation, prosecuting attorneys, victim services, victims

Geographic Coverage:   Missouri, New Hampshire, Ohio, United States, Wisconsin

Unit of Observation:   Parts 1, 7, and 9: Individuals, Parts 2-6, and 8: Incidents

Universe:   Part 1: Victims of domestic violence in Dane County, Wisconsin. Parts 2-6 and 8: Domestic violence cases in Stark County, Ohio, Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, and Jackson County, Missouri. Part 7: Female victims of domestic violence in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire. Part 9: Female victims of sexual assault in Jackson County, Missouri.

Data Types:   administrative records data, event/transaction data, survey data

Methodology

Study Purpose:   In 1996 the Institute for Law and Justice (ILJ) began an evaluation of the law enforcement and prosecution components of the "STOP Violence Against Women" grant program authorized by the Violence Against Women Act of 1994. This data collection constitutes one component of the evaluation. The researchers chose to evaluate two specialized units and two multi-agency team projects in order to study the local impact of STOP on victim safety and offender accountability. The two specialized units reflected typical STOP funding, with money being used for the addition of one or two dedicated professionals in each community. One specialized unit in Dane County, Wisconsin (Part 1), used STOP funds to support the salaries of two domestic violence detectives to improve the quality of the response provided to victims. The second specialized unit in Stark County, Ohio (Parts 2 and 3), used STOP funds to support the salary of a designated felony domestic violence prosecutor to assure that these cases were given the fullest attention. The multi-agency project in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire (Parts 4-7), used STOP funds to create a domestic violence team involving three different agencies. The team included police officers, a domestic violence misdemeanor prosecutor, victim advocates, and probation officers. The overarching goal was to reduce the incidence of domestic violence in the area through aggressive enforcement, community education, and agency cooperation. The other multi-agency project in Jackson County, Missouri, used funds to improve the community's response to sexual assault (Parts 8 and 9). STOP funds supported the crime lab, the county prosecutor's office, the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner's (SANE) program, and the local victim services provider. The primary goal of this project was improvement in evidence collection and documentation, which would lead to higher prosecution and conviction rates.

Study Design:   The Dane County, Wisconsin, Sheriff's Office used STOP funds to support the salaries of two domestic violence detectives. This project was evaluated through surveys of domestic violence victims served by the Dane County Sheriff's Office (Part 1). Surveys were also sent to domestic violence victims served by a comparably-sized police department in the state that did not have a domestic violence unit. The survey instrument consisted of both open-ended and closed-ended questions, and captured information on the incident, contact with responding patrol officers, experiences with domestic violence detectives, and overall thoughts on police response. In Stark County, Ohio, the Office of the Prosecutor used STOP funds to support the salary of a designated felony domestic violence prosecutor. The Stark County project was evaluated by tracking domestic violence cases filed with the prosecutor's office. The case tracking system included only cases involving intimate partner violence, with a male offender and female victim. All domestic violence felons from 1996 were tracked from arrest to disposition and sentence (Part 2). This pre-grant group of felons was compared with a sample of cases from 1999 (Part 3). In Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, a comprehensive evaluation strategy was used to assess the impact of the use of STOP funds on domestic violence cases. First, a sample of 1996 pre-grant and 1999 post-grant domestic violence cases was tracked from arrest to disposition for both regular domestic violence cases (Part 4) and also for dual arrest cases (Part 5). Second, a content analysis of police incident reports from pre- and post-grant periods was carried out to gauge any changes in report writing (Part 6). Finally, interviews were conducted with victims to document their experiences with the criminal justice system, and to better understand the factors that contribute to victim safety and well-being (Part 7). To recruit study participants the researchers mailed over 200 flyers to victims and posted flyers in public places. In addition, some women were contacted by phone. Despite these efforts, the response rate was very low. These interviews, lasting approximately 90 minutes, consisted of 86 questions covering a wide range of topics, including severity of violence experienced, social support networks, police response, satisfaction with process and sentence, and experiences in court. In Jackson County, Missouri, evaluation methods included reviews of prosecutor case files and tracking all sex crimes referred to the Jackson County Prosecutor's Office over both pre-grant and post-grant periods (Part 8). The evaluation also included personal interviews with female victims (Part 9). These face-to-face interviews lasted an average of 20 minutes.

Sample:   Random sampling.

Data Source:

mailback questionnaires, administrative records, and personal interviews

Description of Variables:   Variables in Part 1 (Dane County Victim Survey Data) describe the relationship of the victim and offender, injuries sustained, who called the police and when, how the police responded to the victim and the situation, how the detective contacted the victim, and services provided by the detective. Part 2 (1996 Stark County Case Tracking Data), Part 3 (1999 Stark County Case Tracking Data), Part 4 (Hillsborough County Regular Case Tracking Data), Part 5 (Hillsborough County Dual Arrest Case Tracking Data), and Part 8 (Jackson County Case Tracking Data) include variables on substance abuse by victim and offender, use of weapons, law enforcement response, primary arrest offense, whether children were present, injuries sustained, indictment charge, pre-sentence investigation, victim impact statement, arrest and trial dates, disposition, sentence, and court costs. Demographic variables include the age, sex, and ethnicity of the victim and the offender. Variables in Part 6 (Hillsborough County Police Report Data) provide information on whether there was an existing protective order, whether the victim was interviewed separately, severity of injuries, seizure of weapons, witnesses present, involvement of children, and demeanor of suspect and victim. In Part 7 (Hillsborough County Victim Interview Data), variables focus on whether victims had prior experience with the court, type of physical abuse experienced, injuries from abuse, support from relatives, friends, neighbors, doctor, religious community, or police, assistance from police, satisfaction with police response, expectations about case outcome, why the victim dropped the charges, contact with the prosecutor, criminal justice advocate, and judge, and the outcome of the case. Demographic variables include age, race, number of children, and occupation. Variables in Part 9 (Jackson County Victim Interview Data) relate to when victims were sexually assaulted, if they knew the perpetrator, who was contacted to help, victims' opinions about police and detectives who responded to the case, contact with the prosecutor and victim's advocate, and aspects of the medical examination. Demographic variables include age, race, and marital status.

Response Rates:   Part 1: The response rate was 20 percent for the Dane County Sheriff's sample and 8 percent for the comparison sample. Parts 2-6 and 8: Not applicable. Part 7: Unknown. Part 9: The response rate was about 10 percent.

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

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 UG3252.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 CQ3252.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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