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Early Victim Engagement in Domestic Violence Cases, Final Report

NCJ Number
Richard R. Peterson, Ph.D.
Date Published
January 2013
73 pages
This report presents the findings and methodology of an evaluation of New York City's Early Victim Engagement (EVE) Project, which was launched in 2008 to contact by telephone victims of intimate partner violence (IPV) in Brooklyn immediately after a defendant in the case is arraigned in Criminal Court.
The evaluation produced three major findings. First, when EVE staff members called primary complaining witnesses in IPV cases, they reached approximately 80 percent of them and scheduled appointments with 57 percent of them. Second, when EVE staff scheduled appointments for witnesses, 71 percent of witnesses came in to the district attorney's (DA's) office. When EVE staff did not schedule appointments, about 54 percent of victim/witnesses eventually came for an intake appointment. The EVE Project increased the conviction rate in cases of IPV prosecuted in Brooklyn. The evaluators concluded that the early contact by EVE staff makes a difference, presumably because the incident is more recent. At this early date after the offense, the victim/witness may be more receptive to meeting with the DA's office and the service providers at the Family Justice Center. The report outlines what the evaluator's learned about best practices for early victim engagement in cases of intimate partner violence. The evaluation analyses are based on two datasets, each of which contains information about IPV cases for defendants arrested in Brooklyn. The EVE dataset contains information on cases in the EVE Project in an electronic data file. The DV Bureau Criminal Court Case File Sample contains information about a sample of DV Bureau cases. The sample includes information coded from paper records in the case files, electronic information provided by the Kings County DA's office, and information obtained from the CJA database, including data on the processing of criminal court cases. 13 figures, 17 references, and appended Family Justice Center brochure, determining the most severe charge, and logistic regression analysis