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Lynchburg, Virginia, Arrest Policies Project: A Process Evaluation

NCJ Number
Margaret Marcus Hale Ph.D.
Date Published
June 2000
19 pages

This report presents the methodology, findings, and recommendations of a process evaluation of the Arrest Policies Program in Lynchburg, VA, a Federal grant program intended to encourage jurisdictions to implement mandatory or proarrest policies as an effective domestic-violence intervention that is part of a coordinated community response to domestic violence.


Information for this report was obtained from a 3-day site visit in October 1999 that included interviews and document review. Follow-up interviews were conducted by telephone. This report covers the project environment, grant development and implementation, project achievements, unmet goals, and conclusions and recommendations. Virtually every aspect of the initial Arrest Program application for a grant focused on the prosecution of domestic-violence cases. This included the creation of the Domestic Violence Prosecution Unit within the Commonwealth's Attorney's Office. This unit is to investigate and prosecute all crimes of domestic violence, including misdemeanors. The unit will also assist victims in obtaining judicial protection and other needed services. The grant application also proposed a "Cooperation and Participation Agreement" among nine agencies to "coordinate an integrated approach to combat violence against women." The continuation grant application continued the activities implemented in the initial application and proposed an expansion of the scope of the project to encompass the registration of out-of-State protective orders, the creation of a Domestic Violence Coordinator within the police department, the creation of a multidisciplinary team to address domestic violence and stalking in the workplace, the creation of a cross-disciplinary training curriculum, and the identification of persons prohibited from possessing firearms who might have such weapons. The Domestic Violence Prosecution Unit has been established, the management information system has been enhanced, and a full-time Domestic Violence Coordinator has been employed in the police department. Recommendations for improvement include the development of real partnerships with local community agencies early in the process, planning how the program might continue when the grant funding ends, and designing and implementing data-collection strategies and procedures early in the process. Appended Cooperation and Participation Agreement