Analysis of Rhode Island Domestic Violence Offenders on Probation, 1977-2012 (ICPSR 34571)

Principal Investigator(s): Klein, Andrew, Advocates for Human Potential, Inc.; Centerbar, David, Advocates for Human Potential, Inc.

Summary:

These data are part of NACJD's Fast Track Release and are distributed as they there received from the data depositor. The files have been zipped by NACJD for release, but not checked or processed except of the removal of direct identifiers. Users should refer to the accompany readme file for a brief description of the files available with this collections and consult the investigator(s) if further information is needed.

The purpose of the study was to:

  • Describe the prosecution and sentencing histories for domestic violence and other offenses;
  • Determine the severity gap in prosecution and sentencing between these domestic violence and non-domestic violence over a six year period; and
  • To answer whether the variation in prosecution and sentencing severity predicts being subsequently charged for domestic violence in the future.

Rhode Island was selected as the study site because it has a high domestic violence arrest rate and specifically distinguishes domestic violence from non-domestic violence offenses based on the relationships of the parties, not by specific type of crime. Further, Rhode Island's judiciary maintains a public web-based database, called CourtConnect, that includes an index of defendants by name and date of birth and lists all arrests followed by prosecution and court actions through final sentence. The criminal history information includes all charges filed in any Rhode Island court for the last 25 years.

Two researchers independently coded offender data (Differential Sentencing Data - Persons, n=982) available on CourtConnect. Coders then determined whether the defendants were prosecuted for the charges brought against them (Differential Sentencing Data - Offenses, n=6,649). Offenses that were not prosecuted were differentiated from offenses that were prosecuted. Each charge was classified as domestic violence or non-domestic violence as defined by state statute.

Access Notes

  • These data are part of NACJD's Fast Track Release and are distributed as they were received from the data depositor. The files have been zipped by NACJD for release, but not checked or processed except for the removal of direct identifiers. Users should refer to the accompanying readme file for a brief description of the files available with this collection and consult the investigator(s) if further information is needed.

  • One or more files in this data collection have special restrictions ; consult the restrictions note to learn more. You can apply online for access to the restricted-use data. A login is required to apply.

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

    Any public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.

Dataset(s)

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Study Description

Citation

Klein, Andrew, and David Centerbar. Analysis of Rhode Island Domestic Violence Offenders on Probation, 1977-2012. ICPSR34571-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2016-05-20. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR34571.v1

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR34571.v1

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Funding

This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (2011-WG-BX-0001)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    domestic violence, offenders, offenders sentencing, probation, recidivism, sentencing

Smallest Geographic Unit:    None

Geographic Coverage:    Rhode Island, United States

Time Period:   

  • 1977-02--2012-07

Date of Collection:   

  • 2012-04--2012-07

Unit of Observation:    Individual

Universe:    Criminal offenders on probation for a domestic violence offense in Rhode Island as of November and December 2002.

Data Type(s):    administrative records data

Data Collection Notes:

These data are part of NACJD's Fast Track Release and are distributed as they there received from the data depositor. The files have been zipped by NACJD for release, but not checked or processed except of the removal of direct identifiers. Users should refer to the accompany readme file for a brief description of the files available with this collections and consult the investigator(s) if further information is needed.

Methodology

Study Purpose:   

The purpose of the study was to:

  • Describe the prosecution and sentencing histories for domestic violence and other offenses;
  • Determine the severity gap in prosecution and sentencing between these domestic violence and non-domestic violence over a six year period; and
  • To answer whether the variation in prosecution and sentencing severity predicts being subsequently charged for domestic violence in the future.

Study Design:   

Rhode Island was selected as the study site because it has a high domestic violence arrest rate and specifically distinguishes domestic violence from non-domestic violence offenses based on the relationships of the parties, not by specific type of crime. Further, Rhode Island's judiciary maintains a public web-based database called CourtConnect. The website includes an index of defendants by name and date of birth and lists all arrests followed by prosecution and court actions through final sentence. The criminal history information includes all charges filed in any Rhode Island court for the last 25 years. For all offenders included in the study sample, researchers coded all available criminal records for their entire available criminal careers, from their first (adult) offense up to and included any charged through the study period.

Two researchers independently coded offender data (Differential Sentencing Data - Persons, n=982) available on CourtConnect. Coders then determined whether the defendants were prosecuted for the charges brought against them (Differential Sentencing Data - Offenses, n=6,649). Offenses that were not prosecuted were differentiated from offenses that were prosecuted. Each charge was classified as domestic violence or non-domestic violence as defined by state statute.

Sample:    For inclusion in the study, offenders must have been on probation for a domestic violence offense on either November 14, 2002 or December 31,2002. Although there were approximately 3,000 offenders on probation supervision for domestic violence at this time, those included in this study were limited to a sample of probationers obtained in a prior study funded by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ). The sample (n=1,032) consisted of those probationers who were on the caseloads of fourteen different probation officers, five of whom dealt exclusively with domestic violence offenders. Unique individual offenders were identified by their first and last name and their date of birth. In cases in which offenders could not be uniquely identified by these criteria, they were excluded from analysis.

Time Method:    Longitudinal: Cohort/ Event-based

Weight:    None.

Mode of Data Collection:    record abstracts

Data Source:

Rhode Island CourtConnect

Description of Variables:   

The offender level data (Differential Sentencing Data - Persons, 246 variables, n=982) includes offender gender, date of birth, number of offenses, minimum sentence, maximum sentence, proportion of offenses that were domestic violence, proportion of offenses that were prosecuted, date of first prosecution, date of last prosecution, age at first offense, number of domestic violence offenses and number of non-domestic violence offenses.

The offense level data (Differential Sentencing Data - Offenses, 28 variables, n=6,649) includes offender gender and date of birth, whether the offense is domestic violence or non-domestic violence, date prosecuted, whether offense is a new violation, offenses not prosecuted, offenses resulting in a fine or probation, offense sentenced to prison and sentence length, date of earliest offense, and number of months since first offense.

Response Rates:    Not applicable.

Presence of Common Scales:    None.

Version(s)

Original ICPSR Release:   2016-05-20

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