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Victims' Ratings of Police Services in New York and Texas, 1994-1995 Survey (ICPSR 6787) RSS

Principal Investigator(s):

Summary:

The Family Violence Prevention and Services Act of 1984 (FVPSA) provided funding, through the Office of Victims of Crime in the United States Department of Justice, for 23 law enforcement training projects across the nation from 1986 to 1992. FVPSA was enacted to assist states in (1) developing and maintaining programs for the prevention of family violence and for the provision of shelter to victims and their dependents and (2) providing training and technical assistance for personnel who provide services for victims of family violence. The National Institute of Justice awarded a grant to the Urban Institute in late 1992 to evaluate the police training projects. One of the program evaluation methods the Urban Institute used was to conduct surveys of victims in New York and Texas. The primary objectives of the survey were to find out, from victims who had contact with law enforcement officers in the pre-training period and/or in the post-training period, what their experiences and evaluations of law enforcement services were, how police interventions had changed over time, and how the quality of services and changes related to the police training funded under the FVPSA. Following the conclusion of training, victims of domestic assault in New York and Texas were surveyed through victim service programs across each state. Similar, but not identical, instruments were used at the two sites. Service providers were asked to distribute the questionnaires to victims of physical or sexual abuse who had contact with law enforcement officers. The survey instruments were developed to obtain information and victim perceptions of the following key subject areas: history of abuse, characteristics of the victim-abuser relationship, demographic characteristics of the abuser and the victim, history of law enforcement contacts, services received from law enforcement officers, and victims' evaluations of these services. Variables on history of abuse include types of abuse experienced, first and last time physically or sexually abused, and frequency of abuse. Characteristics of the victim-abuser relationship include length of involvement with the abuser, living arrangement and relationship status at time of last abuse, number of children the victim had, and number of children at home at the time of last abuse. Demographic variables provide age, race/ethnicity, employment status, and education level of the abuser and the victim. Variables on the history of law enforcement contacts and services received include number of times law enforcement officers were called because of assaults on the victim, number of times law enforcement officers actually came to the scene, first and last time officers came to the scene, number of times officers were involved because of assaults on the victim, number of times officers were involved in the last 12 months, and type of law enforcement agencies the officers were from. Data are also included on city size by population, city median household income, county population density, county crime rate, and region of state of the responding law enforcement agencies. Over 30 variables record the victims' evaluations of the officers' responsiveness, helpfulness, and attitudes.

Access Notes

  • These data are freely available.

Dataset(s)

Dataset - Download All Files (2.1 MB)
Documentation:

Study Description

Citation

Newmark, Lisa, Adele Harrell, and Bill Adams. VICTIMS' RATINGS OF POLICE SERVICES IN NEW YORK AND TEXAS, 1994-1995 SURVEY. Conducted by the Urban Institute. ICPSR06787-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [producer and distributor], 1997. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR06787.v1

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Funding

This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (92-IJ-CX-K009)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   crime prevention, domestic assault, domestic violence, family violence, intervention, police response, police training, program evaluation, victim services, victims

Geographic Coverage:   New York, Texas, United States

Time Period:  

  • 1994-12--1995-03

Date of Collection:  

  • 1994-12--1995-03

Unit of Observation:   Individuals.

Universe:   Victims of domestic violence in New York and Texas.

Data Types:   survey data

Methodology

Study Purpose:   The Family Violence Prevention and Services Act of 1984 (FVPSA) provided funding, through the Office of Victims of Crime in the Department of Justice, for 23 law enforcement training projects across the nation from 1986 to 1992. FVPSA was enacted to assist states in: (1) developing and maintaining programs for the prevention of family violence and provision of immediate shelter and assistance to victims and their dependents, and (2) providing training and technical assistance for personnel who provide services for victims of family violence. This training included regionally-based training and technical assistance for local and state law enforcement personnel to develop and implement training programs, and to disseminate information on improved responses to family violence incidents. The National Institute of Justice awarded a grant to the Urban Institute in late 1992 to evaluate the police training projects. One of the program evaluation methods the Urban Institute used was to conduct surveys of victims in New York and Texas. The surveys provided quantifiable data on law enforcement responses to domestic violence calls from the perspective of the ultimate beneficiaries of the training projects, the victims served by law enforcement personnel. The primary objectives of the survey were to find out, from victims who had contact with law enforcement officers in the pre-training period and/or in the post-training period, what their experiences and evaluations of law enforcement services were, how police interventions had changed over time, and how the quality of services and changes related to the police training funded under the FVPSA. Information obtained about the effects of the training projects conducted in these states offered recommendations for future police training and policy development efforts.

Study Design:   FVPSA training in New York was awarded to the New York Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence for the period October 1990 to March 1993. The Texas Center for Law Enforcement Education received the grant in Texas and was funded from September 1991 to February 1993. A total of 242 executives and trainers and 540 officers attended the training sessions in Texas. Following the conclusion of law enforcement training, victims of domestic assault were surveyed through victim service programs across each state. Every program serving victims of domestic violence in New York and Texas was mailed a package containing a cover letter from the local advocacy organization, ten copies of the survey, and a return envelope. New York programs also received a cover letter and survey instructions in a question-and-answer format from the Urban Institute. Service providers were asked to distribute the questionnaires to victims of physical or sexual abuse who had contact with law enforcement officers, and to provide assistance or instructions as needed. A total of 128 programs received 1,240 surveys. In New York, the advocacy organizations provided a list of service programs, and most of the packages were mailed directly from the Urban Institute in late January 1995. Postage-paid return envelopes were provided for mailing the surveys back to the Institute by the requested deadline of March 1, 1995. In Texas, the advocacy organization mailed the survey packages to the 62 programs across the state in mid-December 1994. Completed surveys were mailed back to the advocacy organization by late January 1995 and then forwarded to the Institute. Follow-up postcards were mailed in late February and early March to programs in both states that had not returned any completed surveys, requesting their cooperation and extending the deadline to March 31, 1995. The final sample of eligible respondents consisted of 547 victims, 326 contacted through 53 programs in New York, and 221 contacted through 33 programs in Texas. All returned surveys were logged in, reviewed for eligibility, and edited for clarification as necessary upon receipt. Eligible surveys were then numerically coded and entered into an automated database. Data entry was subjected to complete verification of 20 percent of the cases. Somewhat different response formats for certain survey items were used at the two sites, but data for these items were coded to permit cross-state comparisons where appropriate. Additional cleaning procedures occurred during the early phase of analysis, in which anomalous data were checked against the original source and changes were made in the raw data file as needed.

Sample:   New York and Texas were chosen as survey sites for several reasons: (1) The high level of training dissemination in both states increased the likelihood that victims in the survey might have encountered officers exposed to training experiences and materials related to the FVPSA training activities. (2) Victim advocacy groups in each state were planning or had conducted similar surveys and could provide access to victim service programs and their clients. (3) The two states provided diversity in both geographical location and population demographics. (4) The two represent the second and third most populous states in the nation and the two most populous states to receive FVPSA training grants. A total of 128 programs received 1,240 surveys. The final sample of eligible respondents consisted of 547 victims, 326 contacted through 53 programs in New York, and 221 contacted through 33 programs in Texas.

Data Source:

self-enumerated questionnaires

Description of Variables:   Variables on history of abuse include types of abuse experienced, first and last time physically or sexually abused, and frequency of abuse. Demographic variables provide age, race/ethnicity, employment status, and education level of the abuser and the victim. Characteristics of the victim-abuser relationship cover length of involvement with the abuser, living arrangement and relationship status at time of last abuse, the number of children the victim had, and the number of children at home at the time of last abuse. Variables on the history of law enforcement contacts and services received include the number of times law enforcement officers were called because of assaults on the victim, the number of times law enforcement officers actually came to the scene, first and last time officers came to the scene, number of times officers were involved because of assaults on the victim, number of times officers were involved in the last 12 months, and the type of law enforcement agencies the officers were from. Data are also included on city size by population, city median household income, county population density, county crime rate, and region of state of the reponding law enforcement agencies. Over 30 variables record the victims' evaluations of the officers' responsiveness, helpfulness, and attitudes.

Response Rates:   Since the service program was used as the sampling unit and victims were recruited through programs, response rates were computed as the proportion of programs that returned completed questionnaires. The response rate from New York programs was 41 percent, and in Texas the response rate was 53 percent. From the ten surveys sent to each program, the programs returned from one to 23 completed surveys each, for an average of 6.4 usable surveys per program.

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:

  • 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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