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Portland [Oregon] Domestic Violence Experiment, 1996-1997 (ICPSR 3353) RSS

Principal Investigator(s):

Summary:

As part of its organization-wide transition to community policing in 1989, the Portland Police Bureau, in collaboration with the Family Violence Intervention Steering Committee of Multnomah County, developed a plan to reduce domestic violence in Portland. The creation of a special police unit to focus exclusively on misdemeanor domestic crimes was the centerpiece of the plan. This police unit, the Domestic Violence Reduction Unit (DVRU), had two goals: to increase the sanctions for batterers and to empower victims. This study was designed to determine whether DVRU strategies led to reductions in domestic violence. Data were collected from official records on batterers (Parts 1-10), and from surveys on victims (Parts 11-12). Part 1 (Police Recorded Study Case Data) provides information on police custody reports. Part 2 (Batterer Arrest History Data) describes the arrest history during a five-year period prior to each batterer's study case arrest date. Part 3 (Charges Data for Study Case Arrests) contains charges filed by the prosecutor's office in conjunction with study case arrests. Part 4 (Jail Data) reports booking charges and jail information. Part 5 (Court Data) contains sentencing information for those offenders who had either entered a guilty plea or had been found guilty of the charges stemming from the study case arrest. Data in Part 6 (Restraining Order Data) document the existence of restraining orders, before and/or after the study case arrest date. Part 7 (Diversion Program Data) includes deferred sentencing program information for study cases. Variables in Parts 1-7 provide information on number of batterer's arrests for domestic violence and non-domestic violence crimes in the past five years, charge and disposition of the study case, booking charges, number of hours offender spent in jail, type of release, type of sentence, if restraining order was filed after case arrest, if restraining order was served or vacated, number of days offender stayed in diversion program, and type of diversion violation incurred. Part 8 (Domestic Violence Reduction Unit Treatment Data) contains 395 of the 404 study cases that were randomly assigned to the treatment condition. Variables describe the types of services DVRU provided, such as taking photographs along with victim statements, providing the victim with information on case prosecution, restraining orders, shelters, counseling, and an appointment with district attorney, helping the victim get a restraining order, serving a restraining order on the batterer, transporting the victim to a shelter, and providing the victim with a motel voucher and emergency food supply. Part 9 (Police Record Recidivism Data) includes police entries (incident or arrest) six months before and six months after the study case arrest date. Part 10 (Police Recorded Revictimization and Reoffending Data) consists of revictimization and reoffending summary counts as well as time-to-failure data. Most of the variables in Part 10 were derived from information reported in Part 9. Part 9 and Part 10 variables include whether the offense in each incident was related to domestic violence, whether victimization was done by the same batterer as in the study case arrest, type of police action against the victimization, charges of the victimization, type of premises where the crime was committed, whether the police report indicated that witnesses or children were present, whether the police report mentioned victim injury, weapon used, involvement of drugs or alcohol, whether the batterer denied abuse victim, number of days from study cases to police-recorded revictimization, and whether the recorded victimization led to the batterer's arrest. Part 11 (Wave 1 Victim Interview Data) contains data obtained through in-person interviews with victims shortly (1-2 weeks) after the case entered the study. Data in Part 12 (Wave 2 Victim Interview Data) represent victims' responses to the second wave of interviews, conducted approximately six months after the study case victimization occurred. Variables in Part 11 and Part 12 cover the victim's experience six months before the study case arrest and six months after the study case arrest. Demographic variables in both files include victim's and batterer's race and ethnicity, employment, and income, and relationship status between victim and batterer. Information on childhood experiences includes whether the victim and batterer felt emotionally cared for by parents, whether the victim and batterer witnessed violence between parents while growing up, and whether the victim and batterer were abused as children by a family member. Variables on the batterer's abusive behaviors include whether the batterer threatened to kill, swore at, pushed or grabbed, slapped, beat, or forced the victim to have sex. Information on the results of the abuse includes whether the abuse led to cuts or bruises, broken bones, burns, internal injury, or damage to eyes or ears. Information was also collected on whether alcohol or drugs were involved in the abuse events. Variables on victims' actions after the event include whether the victim saw a doctor, whether the victim talked to a minister, a family member, a friend, a mental health professional, or a district attorney, whether the victim tried to get an arrest warrant, went to a shelter to talk, and/or stayed at a shelter, whether the victim asked police to intervene, tried to get a restraining order, talked to an attorney, or undertook other actions, and whether the event led to the batterer's arrest. Variables on victim satisfaction with the police and the DVRU include whether police or the DVRU were able to calm things down, recommended going to the district attorney, informed the victim of her legal rights, recommended that the victim contact shelter or support groups, transported the victim to a hospital, and listened to the victim, whether police treated the victim with respect, and whether the victim would want police or the DVRU involved in the future if needed. Variables on the victim's emotional state include whether the victim was confident that she could keep herself safe, felt her family life was under control, and felt she was doing all she could to get help. Other variables include number of children the victim had and their ages, and whether the children had seen violence between the victim and batterer.

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.

    A downloadable version of data for this study is available however, certain identifying information in the downloadable version may have been masked or edited to protect respondent privacy. Additional data not included in the downloadable version are available in a restricted version of this data collection. For more information about the differences between the downloadable data and the restricted data for this study, please refer to the codebook notes section of the PDF codebook. Users interested in obtaining restricted data must complete and sign a Restricted Data Use Agreement, describe the research project and data protection plan, and obtain IRB approval or notice of exemption for their research.

Dataset(s)

WARNING: Because this study has many datasets, the download all files option has been suppressed, and you will need to download one dataset at a time.

DS0:  Study-Level Files
Documentation:
DS1:  Police Recorded Study Case Data - Download All Files (4.2 MB)
Data:
DS2:  Batterer Arrest History Data - Download All Files (3.1 MB)
DS3:  Charges Data For Study Case Arrests - Download All Files (3.6 MB)
Data:
DS4:  Jail Data - Download All Files (3.8 MB)
Data:
DS5:  Court Data - Download All Files (3.5 MB)
Data:
DS6:  Restraining Order Data - Download All Files (3.5 MB)
Data:
DS7:  Diversion Program Data - Download All Files (3.4 MB)
Data:
DS8:  Domestic Violence Reduction Unit Treatment Data - Download All Files (3.1 MB)
DS9:  Police Recorded Recidivism Data - Download All Files (5.5 MB)
DS10:  Police Recorded Revictimization and Reoffending Data - Download All Files (3.7 MB)
Data:
DS11:  Wave 1 Victim Interview Data - Download All Files (4 MB)
DS12:  Wave 2 Victim Interview Data - Download All Files (4.3 MB)

Study Description

Citation

Jolin, Annette, Robert Fountain, William Feyerherm, and Sharon Friedman. Portland [Oregon] Domestic Violence Experiment, 1996-1997. ICPSR03353-v2. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2006-07-24. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR03353.v2

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Funding

This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (95-IJ-CX-0054)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   arrest records, community policing, crime prevention, domestic violence, family violence, intervention, misdemeanor offenses, offenders, recidivism, restraining orders, sentencing, victimization, victims

Geographic Coverage:   Oregon, Portland (Oregon), United States

Time Period:  

  • 1996

Date of Collection:  

  • 1996--1997

Unit of Observation:   Parts 1-10: Cases. Parts 11-12: Victims.

Universe:   Domestic violence cases between March 18 and November 27, 1996, in Portland, Oregon.

Data Types:   administrative records data, medical records, survey data

Methodology

Study Purpose:   As part of its organization-wide transition to community policing in 1989, the Portland Police Bureau, in collaboration with the Family Violence Intervention Steering Committee of Multnomah County, developed a plan to reduce domestic violence in Portland. The creation of a special police unit to focus exclusively on misdemeanor domestic crimes was the centerpiece of the plan. This police unit, the Domestic Violence Reduction Unit (DVRU), had two goals: to increase the sanctions for batterers and to empower victims. The logic underlying the DVRU strategies was that, in the long run, the unit's efforts would bring about reductions in violence by increasing the cost of violence to batterers and reducing the risk of renewed violence to their victims. This was to be accomplished in the short run by increases in prosecutions and victim empowerment. This study was designed to determine whether these DVRU strategies led to reductions in domestic violence. The researchers sought to answer the following questions: (1) Do DVRU interventions increase prosecutions of misdemeanor domestic violence cases? (2) Do DVRU interventions increase victim empowerment? (3) Do DVRU interventions lead to reductions in domestic violence?

Study Design:   The study, which was funded by the National Institute of Justice in December 1995, was designed as an experiment in which domestic violence cases were randomly assigned to treatment and control conditions and examined before and after a six-month observation period. A double-blind randomization design was used to assign eligible cases to a DVRU treatment group or to a control group, i.e., one that did not receive DVRU intervention. The research staff housed at the DVRU was responsible for the randomization of the case materials. The research staff picked up the police reports three times a day from the depository, so that the DVRU officers didn't see a case until after it had been entered into the study by the research staff. The police report and a police intervention checklist went into a manila envelope with the case number printed on the outside. The research assistant then gave the stack of sealed envelopes to the DVRU sergeant, who then divided the cases into treatment and control sets based on the last digit of the case number. At this point, treatment cases were made available to the DVRU officers for intervention. Control cases were filed in a cabinet, and not touched until the cessation of the study. Research staff constrained by the double-blind design contacted the victims in both groups and scheduled initial interviews. If the victim refused an interview, then the staff attempted another call after approximately one week. If the victim still refused to be interviewed, her case was omitted from the interview phase of the data collection but was retained for agency data collection purposes. All research staff members at the DVRU who were involved in randomization were kept ignorant of the treatment code. Once the interviews were scheduled, the research staff member faxed a copy of the victim's face sheet to a Portland State University (PSU) research facility, where the rest of the research staff was housed. The PSU research staff was in contact with the DVRU sergeant about contaminated control cases, safety concerns, and other issues. The interview packets were assembled from this facility and picked up by interviewers. If interviewers had questions about the nature of a case, they were to speak only to the PSU staff so as not to disclose any information about the case to the staff at the DVRU. If a victim called a DVRU officer on her own initiative, the officer provided the research staff with an "orange slip" denoting victim contact. The DVRU research staff would fax the information on a follow-up sheet to PSU, where, if the case was determined to be a control case, it would be marked "received treatment," dated, and separated from the rest of the cases. If an interview was already arranged, the PSU research staff conducted the interview to avoid breaking an engagement with a victim who had agreed to participate in the study. These kinds of situations contributed to case attrition. Two machine-readable data collection instruments were specifically developed for the first wave of victim interviews. Treatment group questionnaires differed from control group questionnaires only in that the former contained a set of questions about the DVRU. The study design called for Wave 1 interviews to be completed with victims within 10 days of entry into the study. Wave 2 victim interviews were conducted approximately six months after the study case victimization occurred.

Sample:   Random sampling.

Data Source:

computerized police records, and personal interviews with victims

Description of Variables:   Variables in Parts 1-7 provide information on number of batterer's arrests for domestic violence and non-domestic violence crimes in the past five years, charge and disposition of the study case, booking charges, number of hours offender spent in jail, type of release, type of sentence, if restraining order was filed after case arrest, if restraining order was served or vacated, number of days offender stayed in diversion program, and type of diversion violation incurred. Part 8 (Domestic Violence Reduction Unit Treatment Data) contains 395 of the 404 study cases that were randomly assigned to the treatment condition. Variables describe the types of services DVRU provided, such as taking photographs along with victim statements, providing the victim with information on case prosecution, restraining orders, shelters, counseling, and an appointment with district attorney, helping the victim get a restraining order, serving a restraining order on the batterer, transporting the victim to a shelter, and providing the victim with a motel voucher and emergency food supply. Part 9 (Police Record Recidivism Data) includes police entries (incident or arrest) six months before and six months after the study case arrest date. Part 10 (Police Recorded Revictimization and Reoffending Data) consists of revictimization and reoffending summary counts as well as time-to-failure data. Most of the variables in Part 10 were derived from information reported in Part 9. Part 9 and Part 10 variables include whether the offense in each incident was related to domestic violence, whether victimization was done by the same batterer as in the study case arrest, type of police action against the victimization, charges of the victimization, type of premises where the crime was committed, whether the police report indicated that witnesses or children were present, whether the police report mentioned victim injury, weapon used, involvement of drugs or alcohol, whether the batterer denied abuse victim, number of days from study cases to police-recorded revictimization, and whether the recorded victimization led to the batterer's arrest. Part 11 (Wave 1 Victim Interview Data) contains data obtained through in-person interviews with victims shortly (1-2 weeks) after the case entered the study. Data in Part 12 (Wave 2 Victim Interview Data) represent victims' responses to the second wave of interviews, conducted approximately six months after the study case victimization occurred. Variables in Part 11 and Part 12 cover the victim's experience six months before the study case arrest and six months after the study case arrest. Demographic variables in both files include victim's and batterer's race and ethnicity, employment, and income, and relationship status between victim and batterer. Information on childhood experiences includes whether the victim and batterer felt emotionally cared for by parents, whether the victim and batterer witnessed violence between parents while growing up, and whether the victim and batterer were abused as children by a family member. Variables on the batterer's abusive behaviors include whether the batterer threatened to kill, swore at, pushed or grabbed, slapped, beat, or forced the victim to have sex. Information on the results of the abuse includes whether the abuse led to cuts or bruises, broken bones, burns, internal injury, or damage to eyes or ears. Information was also collected on whether alcohol or drugs were involved in the abuse events. Variables on victims' actions after the event include whether the victim saw a doctor, whether the victim talked to a minister, a family member, a friend, a mental health professional, or a district attorney, whether the victim tried to get an arrest warrant, went to a shelter to talk, and/or stayed at a shelter, whether the victim asked police to intervene, tried to get a restraining order, talked to an attorney, or undertook other actions, and whether the event led to the batterer's arrest. Variables on victim satisfaction with the police and the DVRU include whether police or the DVRU were able to calm things down, recommended going to the district attorney, informed the victim of her legal rights, recommended that the victim contact shelter or support groups, transported the victim to a hospital, and listened to the victim, whether police treated the victim with respect, and whether the victim would want police or the DVRU involved in the future if needed. Variables on the victim's emotional state include whether the victim was confident that she could keep herself safe, felt her family life was under control, and felt she was doing all she could to get help. Other variables include number of children the victim had and their ages, and whether the children had seen violence between the victim and batterer.

Response Rates:   Response rate was 52 percent for Part 11 (Wave 1 Victim Interview Data), and 81 percent for Part 12 (Wave 2 Victim Interview Data).

Presence of Common Scales:   Conflict Tactics Scale, and 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:

  • 2006-07-24 Restricted versions of Parts 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 10 were created.
  • 2006-03-30 File UG3353.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 CB3353.ALL.PDF was removed from any previous datasets and flagged as a study-level file, so that it will accompany all downloads.
  • 2005-11-04 On 2005-03-14 new files were added to one or more datasets. These files included additional setup files as well as one or more of the following: SAS program, SAS transport, SPSS portable, and Stata system files. The metadata record was revised 2005-11-04 to reflect these additions.

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