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Testing the Efficacy of Judicial Monitoring Using a Randomized Trial at the Rochester, New York Domestic Violence Courts, 2006-2009

Version
v1
Resource Type
Dataset : administrative records data, observational data, survey data
Creator
  • Labriola, Melissa (Center for Court Innovation)
  • Cissner, Amanda B. (Center for Court Innovation)
  • Davis, Robert C. (Center for Court Innovation)
  • Rempel, Michael (Center for Court Innovation)
Other Title
  • Version 1 (Subtitle)
Publication Date
2016-04-12
Funding Reference
  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice
Language
English
Free Keywords
court cases; crime prevention; domestic violence; intervention strategies; male offenders
Description
  • Abstract

    These data are part of NACJD's Fast Track Release and are distributed as they were received from the data depositor. The files have been zipped by NACJD for release, but not checked or processed except for the removal of direct identifiers. Users should refer to the accompanying readme file for a brief description of the files available with this collection and consult the investigator(s) if further information is needed.The purpose of the study was to determine the effects of intensive judicial monitoring on offender compliance with court orders and perpetration of future violence. Offenders were processed in either of two specialized domestic violence courts based in Rochester, New York between October 2006 and December 2009. Study-eligible defendants had to be either (1) convicted and sentenced to a conditional discharge or probation or (2) disposed with an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal. Eligible defendants also had to be ordered to participate in a program (e.g., batterer program, substance abuse treatment). Once an eligible plea/disposition was entered, court staff randomly assigned defendants to either Group 1 (monitoring plus program, n = 77) or Group 2 (program only/no monitoring, n = 70). All of the offenders included in the sample were male. Offender interviews (n = 39) were completed between March 2008 and July 2010. The research intern present in court for compliance calendars approached offenders assigned to one of the two study groups to ask them to participate in the research interview on their last court appearance on the instant case (i.e., at successful dismissal from on-going monitoring or at re-sentencing). Victim interviews (n = 10) were conducted six months and one year post-offender disposition. Victims were contacted by staff from Alternatives for Battered Women (ABW), a local victim advocacy agency that was already in contact with many of the women coming through the domestic violence court.
  • Abstract

    The purpose of the study was to determine the effects of intensive judicial monitoring on offender compliance with court orders and perpetration of future violence.
  • Abstract

    This study included offenders who were processed in either of two specialized domestic violence courts based in Rochester, New York between October 2006 and December 2009. The randomization process was initiated when the judge, dedicated prosecutor, and defense agree upon either an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal (ACD) or guilty plea to a felony, misdemeanor, or violation with a sentence of either probation or a conditional discharge along with a protective order; a program mandate (including a batterer program, substance abuse treatment, mental health treatment, and parenting classes); and continued judicial monitoring. Provided the judge did not choose to exclude the case from the study, the judge read from a standard allocution script, conveying behavioral expectations and consequences of noncompliance for all offenders. In addition, the allocution script clearly stated that, by entering the guilty plea (or agreeing to an ACD), offenders understood that they would be ordered to one of two conditions: judicial monitoring and program mandate(s) or program mandate(s) only. Only after the plea/disposition was entered into the record did the randomization take place. During a bench conference between the judge, dedicated prosecutor, defense counsel, and the principal court analyst, the analyst randomly assigned defendants to either Group 1 (monitoring plus program) or Group 2 (program only) by drawing one of two slips of paper from a container. Following the bench conference and random assignment, the judge sentenced the defendant to the specific conditions of his sentence. Defendants sentenced to Group 1 were scheduled for their first post-disposition monitoring appearance two weeks after sentencing. Group 1 defendants were then required to return to court every two weeks for the first three to four months; every three weeks for the following two months (if in compliance); and monthly for the final two months (if in compliance). If, at any time, a defendant was noncompliant, he was required to return to court more frequently--typically once a week for at least a one-month period. Defendants assigned to Group 2 were given a single return court date eight months post-randomization for the purpose of the offender interview. Group 2 offenders who were re-arrested or terminated from their mandated program were also required to return to court for re-sentencing prior to the eight month date. The principal court analyst tracked all relevant case information in the IDV Court Application, a specialized technology tool designed for domestic violence and integrated domestic violence courts throughout New York State. Information captured in the IDV Application includes study group assignment (Group 1, Group 2, or judicial exclusion), adjournment dates, compliance information, sanctions, and program mandates.Offender interviews were completed between March 2008 and July 2010. The research intern present in court for compliance calendars approached offenders assigned to one of the two study groups to ask them to participate in the research interview on their last court appearance on the instant case (i.e., at successful dismissal from on-going monitoring or at re-sentencing). Offenders who agreed to be interviewed were taken to a secure interview space (a private, screened area of the court waiting area on the same floor as the domestic violence courtroom), informed consent was obtained, and the interview was conducted. Offenders were paid twenty-five dollars in cash for their participation.Victim interviews were conducted six months and one year post-offender disposition. Victims were contacted by staff from Alternatives for Battered Women (ABW), a local victim advocacy agency that was already in contact with many of the women coming through the domestic violence court. ABW staff agreed to make five attempts to contact victims, including at least two attempts either during evening hours (after 5:00 pm) or on weekends. ABW was paid for outreach attempts and completed interviews. Victims who agreed to participate were offered a twenty-five dollar stipend for their cooperation.
  • Abstract

    The data file (Rochester Judicial Monitoring Data, n = 154, 402 variables) includes variables from case information, offender interviews, and victim interviews. Case information variables include study group assignment, adjournment dates, compliance information, sanctions, and program mandates and offender demographic information. Offender interviews includes questions across five domains, including comprehension of the court mandate, beliefs about the likelihood of detection of noncompliance, certainty of the court's response to noncompliance, severity of the court's response to noncompliance, and beliefs about the fairness of the court's response. Victim interviews included questions in three domains: victim experiences with the criminal justice system; re-offense by the offender; and victim demographic information.
  • Methods

    None
  • Methods

    Presence of Common Scales: None
  • Methods

    Response Rates: For the Offender interview, a total of 60 offenders were approached for an interview; 39 interviews were completed and 21 offenders refused to participate in the interview.Of the 45 victims who agreed to be contacted by Alternatives for Battered Women (ABW):16 were wrong numbers or disconnected by the time ABW initiated contact;; 13 were not successfully contacted after five attempts;; 3 had blocked numbers;; 3 refused to complete the interview;; 10 completed the initial interview (at six months post-disposition); and; 1 completed the second interview (at one year post-disposition).;
  • Table of Contents

    Datasets:

    • DS1: Dataset
Temporal Coverage
  • 2006-10-01 / 2009-12-31
    Time period: 2006-10-01--2009-12-31
  • 2006-10-01 / 2009-12-31
    Collection date: 2006-10-01--2009-12-31
Geographic Coverage
  • New York (state)
  • Rochester (New York)
Sampled Universe
All defendants convicted in the Domestic Violence Court in Rochester, New York between October 2006 and December 2009 and their victims. Smallest Geographic Unit: county
Sampling
Offenders were processed in either of two specialized domestic violence courts based in Rochester, New York between October 2006 and December 2009. Study-eligible defendants had to be either (1) convicted and sentenced to a conditional discharge or probation or (2) disposed with an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal. Eligible defendants also had to be ordered to participate in a program (e.g., batterer program, substance abuse treatment). Once an eligible plea/disposition was entered, court staff randomly assigned defendants to either Group 1 (monitoring plus program, n = 77) or Group 2 (program only/no monitoring, n = 70). All of the offenders included in the sample were male. In the course of the study, seven technically eligible defendants were excluded from the study by request of the sentencing judge. These requests were made by the judge prior to randomization and were made based on the judge's determination that it was too risky to take a chance that the defendant would not be required to return to court. Possible reasons for exclusion might include a particularly violent criminal history, a belief that the defendant was particularly at risk for not attending the assigned program, or an explicit request by the victim that the defendant be monitored by the court. The protocol for recruiting offenders for interviews was as follows:Group 1 offenders who successfully completed the court mandate: These offenders were brought back for a final compliance appearance during the weekly compliance calendar held on Wednesday afternoons. At the offenders' final court appearance, they were told by their defense attorney or court personnel that a researcher would like to talk to them about their court experience outside the courtroom. Offenders were informed that participation in in the research was completely voluntary and that the judge would have no knowledge of whether the offender participated in the research or not. Once the judge told the offender that he or she did not have to come back to court, the research intern followed the offender out of the courtroom and approached him for an interview.; Group 1 offenders who fail to complete the court mandate: As these offenders were frequently brought back to court at a time other than the regularly-scheduled Wednesday afternoon compliance calendar, the research intern was often not in court for their final court appearance. Offenders were informed by either their attorney or by court personnel at their final court appearance that a researcher might contact them to ask questions about their court experience. Those defendants whose new sentence did not include jail or whose noncompliance led to a violation of probation hearing were approached by the research intern at their next scheduled court appearance. Those defendants who were resentenced to jail were interviewed within two weeks after they were remanded. At that time, the research intern went to the visitors' area of the Monroe County Jail and requested that the offender be brought down for an interview. Offenders were brought either to a private interview room or to a secluded segment of the Monroe County Jail.; Group 2 offenders: Protocols for Group 2 were generally the same as for Group 1 offenders with the following exception: All Group 2 offenders were scheduled for a return to court date eight months after their randomization date. Group 2 offenders who made it to that date were approached for an interview after that appearance, using the same protocols for successful Group 1 offenders. For Group 2 offenders who had a violation or new arrest before the eight month mark, the court notified the research team that the offender would be brought back to court. For those resentenced to jail, the same protocols for Group 1 failures re-sentenced to jail were followed. If a violation of probation (VOP) was filed and the process of scheduling a VOP hearing began, the research intern approached them after their court appearance.; As offenders were enrolled in the study, victims were contacted by the domestic violence assistant district attorney, and if they gave permission, they were contacted by a staff member from Alternative for Battered Women (ABW), a local victim advocacy group, for an interview. A total of 45 victims were contacted by the district attorney's office and agreed to have their name passed on to ABW. Ten victims were never contacted by the district attorney's office or were not interested in participating in the research.
Collection Mode
  • coded on-site observation, face-to-face interview, telephone interview

    These data are part of NACJD's Fast Track Release and are distributed as they were received from the data depositor. The files have been zipped by NACJD for release, but not checked or processed except for the removal of direct identifiers. Users should refer to the accompanying readme file for a brief description of the files available with this collection and consult the investigator(s) if further information is needed.

    The victim focus group data is not available as part of this data collection.

Note
Funding insitution(s): United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (2007-WG-BX-0011).
Availability
Download
One or more files in this study are not available for download due to special restrictions; consult the study documentation to learn more on how to obtain the data.
Alternative Identifiers
  • 34383 (Type: ICPSR Study Number)
Publications
  • Labriola, Melissa, Cissner, Amanda B., Davis, Robert C., Rempel, Michael. Testing the Efficacy of Judicial Monitoring: A Randomized Trial at the Rochester, New York Domestic Violence Courts. NCJ 247161, Washington, DC: US Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, National Institute of Justice. 2012.
    • ID: http://www.courtinnovation.org/sites/default/files/documents/Testing_Efficacy_Judicial_Monitoring.pdf (URL)

Update Metadata: 2016-05-03 | Issue Number: 3 | Registration Date: 2016-04-12

Labriola, Melissa; Cissner, Amanda B.; Davis, Robert C.; Rempel, Michael (2016): Testing the Efficacy of Judicial Monitoring Using a Randomized Trial at the Rochester, New York Domestic Violence Courts, 2006-2009. Version 1. Version: v1. ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. Dataset. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR34383.v1