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Evaluating a Multi-Disciplinary Response to Domestic Violence in Colorado Springs, 1996-1999 (ICPSR 3282) RSS

Principal Investigator(s):

Summary:

The Colorado Springs Police Department formed a nontraditional domestic violence unit in 1996 called the Domestic Violence Enhanced Response Team (DVERT). This unit involved a partnership and collaboration with the Center for the Prevention of Domestic Violence, a private, nonprofit victim advocacy organization, and 25 other city and county agencies. DVERT was unique in its focus on the safety of the victim over the arrest and prosecution of the batterer. It was also different from the traditional police model for a special unit because it was a systemic response to domestic violence situations that involved the coordination of criminal justice, social service, and community-based agencies. This study is an 18-month evaluation of the DVERT unit. It was designed to answer the following research and evaluation questions: (1) What were the activities of DVERT staff? (2) Who were the victims and perpetrators of domestic violence? (3) What were the characteristics of domestic violence-related incidents in Colorado Springs and surrounding jurisdictions? (4) What was the nature of the intervention and prevention activities of DVERT? (5) What were the effects of the intervention? (6) What was the nature and extent of the collaboration among criminal justice agencies, victim advocates, and city and county human services agencies? (7) What were the dynamics of the collaboration? and (8) How successful was the collaboration? At the time of this evaluation, the DVERT program focused on three levels of domestic violence situations: Level I included the most lethal situations in which a victim might be in serious danger, Level II included moderately lethal situations in which the victim was not in immediate danger, and Level III included lower lethality situations in which patrol officers engaged in problem-solving. Domestic violence situations came to the attention of DVERT through a variety of mechanisms. Most of the referrals came from the Center for the Prevention of Domestic Violence. Other referrals came from the Department of Human Services, the Humane Society, other law enforcement agencies, or city service agencies. Once a case was referred to DVERT, all relevant information concerning criminal and prosecution histories, advocacy, restraining orders, and human services documentation was researched by appropriate DVERT member agencies. Referral decisions were made on a weekly basis by a group of six to eight representatives from the partner agencies. From its inception in May 1996 to December 31, 1999, DVERT accepted 421 Level I cases and 541 Level II cases. Cases were closed or deactivated when DVERT staff believed that the client was safe from harm. Parts 1-4 contain data from 285 Level I DVERT cases that were closed between July 1, 1996, and December 31, 1999. Parts 5-8 contain data from 515 Level II cases from 1998 and 1999 only, because data were more complete in those two years. Data were collected from (1) police records of the perpetrator and victim, including calls for service, arrest reports, and criminal histories, (2) DVERT case files, and (3) Center for the Prevention of Domestic Violence files on victims. Coding sheets were developed to capture the information within these administrative documents. Part 1 includes data on whether the incident produced injuries or a risk to children, whether the victim, children, or animals were threatened, whether weapons were used, if there was stalking or sexual abuse, prior criminal history, and whether there was a violation of a restraining order. For Part 2 data were gathered on the date of case acceptance to the DVERT program and deactivation, if the offender was incarcerated, if the victim was in a new relationship or had moved out of the area, if the offender had moved or was in treatment, if the offender had completed a domestic violence class, and if the offender had served a sentence. Parts 3 and 4 contain information on the race, date of birth, gender, employment, and relationship to the victim or offender for the offenders and victims, respectively. Part 5 includes data on the history of emotional, physical, sexual, and child abuse, prior arrests, whether the victim took some type of action against the offender, whether substance abuse was involved, types of injuries that the victim sustained, whether medical care was necessary, whether a weapon was used, restraining order violations, and incidents of harassment, criminal trespassing, telephone threats, or kidnapping. Part 6 variables include whether the case was referred to and accepted in Level I and whether a DVERT advocate made contact on the case. Part 7 contains information on the offenders' race and gender. Part 8 includes data on the victims' date of birth, race, and gender.

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.

    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:  Level I Accepted Cases Data
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No downloadable data files available.
DS2:  Level I Deactivated Cases Data
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No downloadable data files available.
DS3:  Level I Offender Data
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No downloadable data files available.
DS4:  Level I Victim Data
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No downloadable data files available.
DS5:  Level II Accepted Cases Data
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No downloadable data files available.
DS6:  Level II Deactivated Cases Data
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No downloadable data files available.
DS7:  Level II Offender Data
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No downloadable data files available.
DS8:  Level II Victim Data
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No downloadable data files available.

Study Description

Citation

Uchida, Craig D., Carol A. Putnam, Jennifer Mastrofski, Shellie Solomon, and Deborah Dawson. EVALUATING A MULTI-DISCIPLINARY RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN COLORADO SPRINGS, 1996-1999. ICPSR version. Silver Spring, MD: 21st Century Solutions, Inc. [producer], 2001. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2002. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR03282.v1

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Export Citation:

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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-K010)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   arrest records, crime prevention, criminal histories, domestic violence, human services, intervention, law enforcement agencies, police response, program evaluation, victim safety, victim services

Geographic Coverage:   Colorado, Colorado Springs, United States

Date of Collection:  

  • 1998--2000

Unit of Observation:   Parts 1, 2, 5, and 6: Cases. Parts 3, 4, 7, and 8: Individuals.

Universe:   Parts 1-4: All Level I DVERT cases that were closed between July 1, 1996, and December 31, 1999. Parts 5-8: Level II DVERT cases from 1998 and 1999.

Data Types:   administrative records data

Data Collection Notes:

(1) Parts 1-4 contain data for 285 Level I cases. Part 2 has less than 285 records because deactivation data were not available for all cases. Part 4 has more than 285 records because some cases had multiple victims. Parts 5-8 contain data for 515 Level II cases from 1998-1999. The case counts for Parts 5-8 vary because all information was not available for every case depending on how far along the case was in the process. (2) Data in Parts 1-4 and Parts 5-8 can be merged into one Level I and one Level II file, respectively, using the DVERT case number to match cases across files. A merged file for Level II would have a large amount of missing data due to the different case counts among the files. (3) The user guide and codebook 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:   In the 1980s the Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD) participated in the replication of the Minneapolis spouse assault experiment. It was one of six sites that implemented a randomized experiment to test the notion that arresting domestic violence perpetrators could reduce subsequent recidivism. Learning from that experience, the CSPD formed a nontraditional domestic violence unit in 1996 called the Domestic Violence Enhanced Response Team (DVERT). This unit involved a partnership and collaboration with the Center for the Prevention of Domestic Violence, a private, nonprofit victim advocacy organization, and 25 other city and county agencies. DVERT was unique in its focus on the safety of the victim over the arrest and prosecution of the batterer. It was also different from the traditional police model for a special unit because it was a systemic response to domestic violence situations that involved the coordination of criminal justice, social service, and community-based agencies. DVERT encouraged efforts to establish communication among criminal justice and service agencies, to establish advocacy services to meet victims' needs, and to implement policies aimed toward more aggressive apprehension and sanctioning of offenders. This project was an 18-month evaluation of the DVERT unit. It was designed to answer the following research and evaluation questions: (1) What were the activities of DVERT staff? (2) Who were the victims and perpetrators of domestic violence? (3) What were the characteristics of domestic violence-related incidents in Colorado Springs and surrounding jurisdictions? (4) What was the nature of the intervention and prevention activities of DVERT? (5) What were the effects of the intervention? (6) What was the nature and extent of the collaboration among criminal justice agencies, victim advocates, and city and county human services agencies? (7) What were the dynamics of the collaboration? and (8) How successful was the collaboration?

Study Design:   At the time of this evaluation, the DVERT program focused on three levels of domestic violence situations: Level I included the most lethal situations in which a victim might be in serious danger, Level II included moderately lethal situations in which the victim was not in immediate danger, and Level III included lower lethality situations in which patrol officers engaged in problem-solving. Domestic violence situations came to the attention of DVERT through a variety of mechanisms. Most of the referrals came from the Center for the Prevention of Domestic Violence. Other referrals came from the Department of Human Services, the Humane Society, other law enforcement agencies, or city service agencies. Once a case was referred to DVERT, all relevant information concerning criminal and prosecution histories, advocacy, restraining orders, and human services documentation was researched by appropriate DVERT member agencies. Referral decisions were made on a weekly basis by a group of six to eight representatives from the partner agencies. From its inception in May 1996 to December 31, 1999, DVERT accepted 421 Level I cases and 541 Level II cases. Cases were closed or deactivated when DVERT staff believed that the client was safe from harm. Parts 1-4 contain data from 285 Level I DVERT cases that were closed between July 1, 1996, and December 31, 1999. Parts 5-8 contain data from 515 Level II cases from 1998 and 1999 only, because data were more complete in those two years. Data were collected from (1) police records of the perpetrator and victim, including calls for service, arrest reports, and criminal histories, (2) DVERT case files, and (3) Center for the Prevention of Domestic Violence files on victims. Coding sheets were developed to capture the information within these administrative documents.

Data Source:

Data were collected from (1) police records of the perpetrator and victim, including calls for service, arrest reports, and criminal histories, (2) DVERT case files, and (3) Center for the Prevention of Domestic Violence files on victims.

Description of Variables:   Part 1 includes data on whether the incident produced injuries or a risk to children, whether the victim, children, or animals were threatened, whether weapons were used, if there was stalking or sexual abuse, prior criminal history, and whether there was a violation of a restraining order. For Part 2 data were gathered on the date of case acceptance to the DVERT program and deactivation, if the offender was incarcerated, if the victim was in a new relationship or had moved out of the area, if the offender had moved or was in treatment, if the offender had completed a domestic violence class, and if the offender had served a sentence. Parts 3 and 4 contain information on the race, date of birth, gender, employment, and relationship to the victim or offender for the offenders and victims, respectively. Part 5 includes data on the history of emotional, physical, sexual, and child abuse, prior arrests, whether the victim took some type of action against the offender, whether substance abuse was involved, types of injuries that the victim sustained, whether medical care was necessary, whether a weapon was used, restraining order violations, and incidents of harassment, criminal trespassing, telephone threats, or kidnapping. Part 6 variables include whether the case was referred to and accepted in Level I and whether a DVERT advocate made contact on the case. Part 7 contains information on the offenders' race and gender. Part 8 includes data on the victims' date of birth, race, and gender.

Response Rates:   Not applicable.

Presence of Common Scales:   None.

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 CB3282.ALL.PDF was removed from any previous datasets and flagged as a study-level file, so that it will accompany all downloads.

Related Publications (see Notes)

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