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Summary of Discussion on Safety and Accountability Audits: Workshop for Future Initiatives, October 26, 2004

NCJ Number
Date Published
October 2004
0 pages
This is a summary of the discussion on safety and accountability audits from the "Workshop for Future Initiatives," which was held in Washington, DC, on October 26, 2004.
The group agreed to move forward with safety and accountability audits, attempting to create sustainability, and using in-depth analyses with community groups. Better safety management for the benefit of women and children was the featured objective of the discussion. The summary covers the presentations and the discussion that followed each presentation. In the welcoming presentation, Sara V. Hart, the Director of the U.S. Justice Department's National Institute of Justice (NIJ), proposed that "success" for the criminal justice system should not be viewed separately by each component (police, courts, and corrections), but rather from an interrelated systems perspective. The Director of the Office on Violence Against Women discussed what is involved in the implementation of the Violence Against Women (VAW) Act, which requires a coordinated response at both State and national levels. A third presentation focused on the meeting's agenda, which included presentations on safety and audit concepts from five experienced practitioners. One presentation argued that performance measures in a safety audit must be viewed from the perspective of the victims of violence, i.e., whether they feel safe and the offender had been held accountable. Another presentation emphasized the importance of an audit of how an institution is currently operating, with attention to the daily activities performed by individual workers. A police chief from Bellingham, WA, discussed the background for the safety and accountability audit performed in his jurisdiction. Another speaker from Bellignham, i.e., the Director of the County Commission Against Domestic Violence, identified a number of challenges and successes of the safety audit. Other presentations were by representatives of institutions involved in performance audits of 911 dispatches of six representative police departments in Massachusetts and a performance audit for a Minnesota county's corrections agencies.

Date Published: October 1, 2004