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Process Evaluation of the Pueblo Domestic Violence Project: July 1999 -- Pueblo, Colorado

NCJ Number
Date Published
August 2000
27 pages
This report presents the findings and recommendations of a process evaluation of the Arrest Program in Pueblo County's 10th Judicial District (Colorado), which was funded under a Federal grant intended to promote the implementation of mandatory or proarrest policies as an effective domestic-violence intervention that is part of a coordinated community response to domestic violence.
The first section of the report provides information on the project's environment, which encompasses county demographics, the criminal justice system (with particular reference to the handling of domestic-violence cases), the efforts of the county's nonprofit community in addressing domestic violence, and Colorado laws relevant to domestic violence. A subsection of the discussion of the project's environment involves a detailed assessment of the county's fast-track prosecution, within which the Pueblo Domestic Violence Project is being implemented. The section of the report on the planning and implementation of the project notes that the content of the project has expanded over time, but the goals identified in the grant proposal have remained constant. They are to more effectively and efficiently manage domestic-violence cases; to form a multidisciplinary coordinating committee; to develop a protocol for a coordinated system response; to improve communication between the component agencies of the criminal justice system; and to educate all segments of the community on the issues associated with domestic violence. Project implementation involved several steps, including hiring staff, establishing the fast-track program, and creating a domestic violence task force. The District Attorney's Office, as the lead agency, and the Deputy District Attorney/Project Director in particular, were crucial to the project's implementation. At the time of the evaluation researchers' site visit, project performance, as measured by statistics, was difficult to assess. Pre-grant data for the prosecution of domestic-violence cases were typically not available. A complete assessment of the project has not yet been conducted, and no funds have been provided for a local independent evaluation. Still, progress reports provided some data that are relevant to the project's impact on time to case disposition. These data suggest that the Arrest Policies grant is producing more prosecutions and convictions in a shortened time period, and there has been an increase in the number of victims who receive assistance from victim specialists and the victim counselor. The level of collaboration between criminal justice agencies and nonprofit organizations exceeded all expectations. Recommendations derived from the evaluation are to consider alternatives to fast-track prosecution; to revise the "Notice to Appear;" to initiate field supervision from probation officers; to scrutinize the restraining-order process; to conduct judicial and magistrate training programs; to improve evaluation and documentation efforts; and to develop protocol and formalize the task force.

Date Published: August 1, 2000