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National Evaluation of the Grants to Encourage Arrest Policies Program, Revised Final Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
November 2002
211 pages
Publication Series
This final report from the Institute of Law and Justice (ILJ) presents findings from a national evaluation of the Grants to Encourage Arrest Policies Program from the Violence Against Women Office (VAWO) evaluating the types of projects being implemented, the implementation of the Arrest Policies Program and how its changing the criminal justice system, delivery of services to victims of domestic violence, and how the Arrest Policies Program is increasing victim safety and offender accountability. The development of this program was based on testimony at congressional hearings on domestic violence.
Under a grant from the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) and funding from the Violence Against Women Office (VAWO), the Institute of Law and Justice (ILJ) conducted a national evaluation of the Grants to Encourage Arrest Polices Program. This report presents the findings from the evaluation which includes a survey of 130 grantees, a process evaluation involving 20 grant projects, and an impact evaluation involving 6 projects. VAWO provides grants to establish or enforce policies favoring arrest and prosecution of those individuals committing domestic violence. Of the 130 awarded Arrest Policies Program grants, most were for projects sponsored by law enforcement agencies or prosecutors’ offices with some grants going to probation departments, statewide agencies, and tribal organizations. Both quantitative and qualitative methods were used in the evaluation to document the national scope of the Arrest Policies Program and the implementation and outcomes of local projects. In addition, the impact of the Arrest Policies Program on offender accountability and victim safety were explored. Six projects were selected from among the 20 that participated as process evaluation sites. The evaluation addressed four key questions concerning both VAWO and Congress: (1) how are Arrest Policies Program funds being spent by grantees; (2) were victims satisfied with the services provided through Program projects; (3) what impacts did the Program have on organizations; and (4) what impact did the Program projects have on offender accountability? Highlights of the key findings include: (1) most projects used their funds to support development of specialized units and for training; (2) in total, the 111 responding grantees funded 536 staff positions, for an average of 4.8 staff per project; (3) in most sites, the grants resulted in improved communication and cooperation among criminal justice agencies and community-based victim services organizations; (4) ILJ’s analysis found that the proportion of warrant arrests of domestic violence suspects increased from an average across all sites of 4.1 percent of all arrests prior to the Program grants to 15.5 percent during the grant period; (5) the majority of victim/survivors were contacted by victim assistance staff and were provided a variety of services; and (6) a majority of victims/survivors in interviews and focus groups reported satisfaction with the victim assistance services they received and the law enforcement response. Appendices A-D and Exhibits

Date Published: November 1, 2002