Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2007, $219,409)
This project will assess four or five court-focused elder abuse initiatives that are being touted as cutting-edge models. These initiatives are the "Elder Protection Court" in Alameda County, California; the "Elder Justice Centers" in Hillsborough County and Palm Beach County, Florida; the "Elder Abuse Order of Protection Project" in New York City; and the "In-Home Emergency Protective order Initiative" in Jefferson County, Kentucky. These approaches are being touted as cutting-edge models that should be emulated in other communities, but those claims are made without benefit of an independent, research-based assessment of their structure, process and outcomes. To avoid the adoption of ineffective practices, the judges, court administrators, policymakers and funders who will undertake responsibility for these justice system reforms urgently need the evidence-based knowledge that this project will produce.
The applicants will combine their expertise in elder abuse and court program evaluation to conduct a two-year study that collects and analyzes qualitative and quantitative information about the structure, processes, and outcomes of these approaches. The assessment involves two strategies. The first entails an in-depth survey and follow-up interviews with a key-informant from each community's initiative to gather data on program administration, service delivery and client outcomes. This effort informs the second strategy, which involves the three-day site visits to each community. Using an interview protocol, researchers will gather data from key stakeholders (i.e. judges, court administrators, prosecutors, defense attorneys, law enforcement personnel, adult protective services staff, aging and disability services providers, advocates and victims). Interviews will be transcribed and coded. Researchers also will spend a day reviewing case files and if possible, observe court proceedings. All data will be analyzed according to standard qualitative and quantitative analytic techniques.
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