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Evaluating a Multi-Disciplinary Response to Domestic Violence: The DVERT Program in Colorado Springs

NCJ Number
190230
Date Published
August 2001
Length
12 pages
Author(s)
Craig D. Uchida; Carol A. Putnam; Jennifer Mastrofski; Shellie Solomon; Deborah Dawson
Agencies
NIJ-Sponsored
Publication Series
Publication Type
Program/Project Evaluation
Grant Number(s)
98-WE-VX-K010
Annotation
This study examined the Colorado Springs Police Department’s Domestic Violence Enhanced Response Team (DVERT).
Abstract
DVERT is a multidisciplinary team comprised of criminal justice officials, non-profit organizations, victim advocates, and city and county human service agencies. DVERT takes on the most serious domestic violence cases in the greater Colorado Springs area. The process evaluation tracked cases from referral of domestic violence incidents through their adjudication or resolution. Data were collected from the police department and DVERT case files and interviews conducted with key personnel and victims. DVERT is most concerned with the safety of the victim of domestic violence. It does not follow the traditional police model for a special unit. It is a “systemic response” to domestic violence situations because it involves the coordination of criminal justice, social service, and community-based agencies. Results showed that the impact of DVERT on victims was that victims had more resources, their lives changed for the better, and the violence was reduced. Law enforcement practices have changed as a result of the program because the officers are more aware of domestic violence issues, they receive more training in issues such as stalking and dual arrests, and they engage in more problem solving than in the past. Services to victims have improved because of the collaboration of police and social service agencies. Overall, through this program the police department has expanded its domestic violence operation and saved lives, reduced violence, improved communication among city and county agencies and service providers, and improved the quality of life in Colorado Springs. 5 footnotes
Date Created: January 4, 2006