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Transfer of Responsibility for Child Protective Investigations to Law Enforcement in Florida: A Supplemental Study Final Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
February 2005
158 pages
Susan Kinnevy Ph.D.; Vera Huang M.S.; Melissa Dichter M.S.W; Richard Gelles Ph.D.
This report presents findings from a study designed to supplement a previous study evaluating the impact of a 1998 Florida legislative mandate to transfer the responsibility for child protective investigations in three Florida counties from the Department of Children and Families (DCF) to the Sheriff’s offices in those counties.
In May 1998, the Florida Legislature mandated the transfer of responsibility for child protective investigations in Manatee, Pinellas, and Pasco Counties from the Department of Children and Families (DCF) to the Sheriff’s offices (SO) in those counties. The U.S. Department of Justice’s National Institute of Justice and Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and the Florida DCF funded an evaluation on the impact of this change. The evaluation was completed in 2003 with inconclusive results. The findings indicate that the law enforcement intervention did not prove as successful as intended. This report presents supplemental findings to the original study and further explores under-examined or unanswered questions from the original study. This secondary analysis indicates that the transfer of investigative responsibilities to law enforcement has not had the desired or expected impact. It supports the original findings that the investigative transfer had little impact on recurrence and recidivism, although there seemed to be more convergence among all counties than had been previously revealed. The study was able to establish to some extent the percentage of perpetrators likely to experience criminal sanctions in Broward County. Figures, tables, graphs, charts, and appendixes A-F

Date Created: July 22, 2005