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Clinton County Domestic Abuse Reduction Team (DART)

NCJ Number
Margaret Marcus Hale Ph.D.
Date Published
August 2000
21 pages
This report presents the findings and recommendations of a process evaluation of the Grants to Encourage Arrest Policies Program in Clinton County, NY, which was funded under a Federal grant program intended to encourage jurisdictions to implement mandatory or proarrest policies as an effective domestic-violence intervention that is part of a coordinated community response to domestic violence.
The section of the report on project environment provides an overview of the demographics of the county and the criminal justice system, including its policies for handling domestic-violence cases. A review of New York State law pertinent to domestic violence is also provided. A description of grant development and implementation indicates the grant proposal featured a unique partnership between the Department of Probation; the District Attorney's Office; and Stop Domestic Violence (STOP), the nonprofit agency that serves batterers and victims. Under the grant proposal, funding would be used to hire or promote an individual to work out of the District Attorney's Office in handling follow-up investigations of domestic violence cases and provide training to local law enforcement officers on the needs of the District Attorney's Office regarding evidence collection, lethality assessment, primary aggressor recognition, and the dual arrest philosophy. Funds would also be used to hire or promote a specialized probation officer to supervise a caseload of batterers and conduct presentence investigations for all domestic violence convictions. Grant money would also be used to hire or promote a victim's (legal) advocate to work out of the STOP office to contact each victim identified on a domestic Incident Report. The aforementioned individuals would meet weekly with the Task Force coordinator as the Domestic Abuse Reduction Team (DART) to share information, review pending cases, and educate themselves. Other grant funds were used for equipment purchases. The continuation grant requested ongoing funding for the existing DART staff and the hiring of five additional staff. Programmatic goals were to implement mandatory arrest or proarrest programs and policies in police departments, develop policies and training programs in police departments to improve the tracking of domestic-violence cases, and to strengthen the legal advocacy service programs for domestic-violence victims. Although there are no systematic data available to measure program achievements, the evaluation concluded that DART has made significant achievements in cooperation and coordination among the agencies involved in domestic-violence cases, in police domestic-violence training, in judicial domestic-violence training, in probation officer training, in the intensive supervision of batterers on probation, in the enforcement of probation violations for these offenders, in the development of detailed presentencing reports for convicted batterers, in victim impact statements, and in the implementation of MOSAIC as a measure of lethality in domestic- violence cases. Recommendations address the restatement and measurement of goals, future plans, training for various personnel, the role of the outside evaluator, the assignment of cases, guidelines and procedures, and the involvement of the Parole Department.