Criminal protection orders are a critical tool to enhance the safety and protection of victims of domestic violence (DV). They are issued frequently, but, limited research exists to elucidate the process and outcomes of these orders. Only two NIJ studies in the last 15 years focused explicitly on criminal orders. Further, research on civil orders cannot be relied on to inform practice and policy for criminal orders given the vast differences in their processes and implications. To ensure the safety and wellbeing of victims and their children, there is a critical need for research to (a) elucidate the process of criminal orders as a critical strategy to reduce DV, (b) increase knowledge about how criminal orders influence the daily lives of women, are associated with offender behavior, and impact children's contact with offending fathers, and (c) disseminate findings broadly to key audiences.
This project was developed and will be conducted via strong, existing collaborations between a researcher and two criminal justice system practitioners (separately representing victim and offender services). Goal 1, Victims: To increase knowledge about how criminal orders affect victims' safety and wellbeing. Objectives aim to (a) provide descriptive information about victims wellbeing subsequent to their partners arraignment and (b) compare wellbeing among victims grouped on two dimensions of orders, (1) the extent to which orders are issued at a more restrictive level than requested by victims and (2) the extent to which orders affect daily living, and (c) determine if offender and victim characteristics moderate the differences. Goal 2, Offenders: To increase knowledge about how criminal orders, in combination with offender programming, affect offender behavior.in order to identify level of order and type of programming associated with the lowest rates of revictimization and recidivism, and if offender and victim characteristics moderate the differences. Goal 3, Children: To increase knowledge about how criminal orders affect children's contact in cases where offenders are the fathers of victims' children. Objectives aim to (a) identify the proportion of victims who seek civil orders to protect their children and if differences exist by level of criminal order requested or issued, and (b) for residential stay-away or full no-contact order, to gather information about contact with the offending father.
A mixed-method, design will be used to gather quantitative and qualitative data from 300 women recruited from the state's office of the victim advocate and the community. Straified random sampling procedures will be used to secure a diverse sample from the office of the victim advocate files. Participants will be victims in a DV case with a male partner arraigned months prior to study entry. The sample is expected to be 47% white, 37% African American, 14% Latino, and 2% from other or unknown racial/ethnic groups. Victims will self-report all data via interview. The state criminal justice system will provide additional quantitative data. Data collection is expected to take 27 months.
Descriptive statistics will be used to elucidate the phenomenon of criminal orders and inferential statistics (e.g., linear and non-linear regression) will examine study objectives. Qualitative data will be transcribed, coded, analyzed, and interpreted using NVivo 9 software. ca/ncf