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Process and Impact Evaluation of Specialized Domestic Violence Probation Projects in Preoria, Sangamon, and Tazewell Counties

NCJ Number
Barbara Hayler Ph.D.; Mick Addison Lamb M.A.
Date Published
October 2002
193 pages
This federally funded report presents the process and impact evaluation and improvement recommendations of three specialized domestic violence probation projects located in three counties in the State of Illinois.
Domestic violence has become a growing problem in the State of Illinois with domestic violence incidents representing a sizeable and significant portion of calls for services to law enforcement. The Illinois probation departments of Peoria, Sangamon, and Tazewell Counties implemented Domestic Violence Probation Programs to improve their ability to supervise these offenders and hold them accountable for their violent and abusive behavior. A primary goal of each project is to coordinate the actions of various criminal justice and community agencies. In 1999, the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority (ICJIA) requested an evaluation on the implementation and preliminary impact of the three domestic violence probation projects to determine how well each project is achieving its set goals and objectives and how it’s affecting its target population. The evaluation report, supported by the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance, consists of a brief review of domestic violence literature, the evaluations of each county project individually, describing the program and assessing its operation and effectiveness, overall evaluation and recommendations, and a proposal for future evaluations. The research methodology used both qualitative and quantitative assessments. The two central sources of information necessary for the evaluation are offender and supervision information. The programs have succeeded in identifying the target population of domestic violence offenders and assigning them to probation officers with specialized domestic violence caseloads. Officers in all three counties completed a 40-hour training provided by the shelter or victim’s service organization. The probation departments show strong administrative support of these projects. The projects draw on community resources in their supervision. Barriers to implementations have included: (1) assumptions with program proposal that the probation departments will conduct presentence investigations (PSI); (2) difficulty with access to information; and (3) the process of revoking probation or imposing of a sanction for a violation taking to much time and sometimes being uncertain. Recommendation are presented in the areas of sentencing and intake, condition of probation, information issues, probation supervision, enforcement issues, staffing, and victim components. References and appendices A-C