Institutional Analysis Reports
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Positive Outcomes for All: Using An Institutional Analysis to Identify and Address African American Children’s Low Reunification Rates and Long-Term Stays in Fresno County’s Foster Care System
In 2009, Fresno County Department of Social Services (DSS) volunteered to partner with the Center for the Study of Social Policy to participate in a study known as the Institutional Analysis, which seeks to understand and address organizational and structural contributors to poor outcomes for children and families involved in the child welfare, juvenile justice and other systems. Fresno County DSS already has made efforts to remedy many of the findings identified in the Institutional Analysis and has outlined a clear action plan, which is included in the report below.
Full report (893 kb)
Executive summary (173 kb)
Safety and Accountability Audit of the response to Native women who report sexual assault in Duluth, MN 2006-2008
In the summer of 2006, Mending the Sacred Hoop (MSH) and the Program for Aid to Victims of Sexual Assault (PAVSA) in Duluth, MN conducted a Safety and Accountability Audit to assess how the criminal justice system affects the lives of Native women who have been sexually violated. The audit team included Native women from the community, advocates, the head of the criminal division from the St. Louis County Attorney’s office, the Deputy Chief of Police from the City of Duluth, and the Supervising Deputy Sheriff from St. Louis County. The team rode along with police officers on their shifts, interviewed professionals from all over the system, and cried after conducting focus groups with Native women who had survived devastating circumstances. Difficult conversations were had and stereotypes and biases from all sides were uncovered and confronted. The team journeyed through the emotional, physical, mental and spiritual aspects of Native women’s experiences. That understanding, coupled with a stronger awareness of how different aspects of the system intersect, gave the team the information it needed to suggest positive changes within those systems.
Full report (1MB)
Report of the Henry County, Ohio, Child Custody and Domestic Violence Safety and Accountability Audit
In 2010, local Henry County courts and community agencies involved in child custody decisions and the response to domestic violence completed a Safety and Accountability Audit. Joined by representatives of Praxis International and the National Custody Project the team conducted interviews, observed practices, and analyzed case records to examine how the response to the intersection of domestic violence and child custody was organized and coordinated, and with what implications for the safety and well-being of children and victim parents. The Safety Audit identified a range of gaps and related recommendations that Henry County began grappling with while this account of its work was being completed.
Full Report (approximately 2 MB)
Western Australian Safety and Accountability Audit of the Armadale Domestic Violence Intervention Project
The Armadale Domestic Violence Intervention Project (ADVIP), established in 1993, is the first interagency effort in Western Australia to bring the criminal justice system, child protection agencies and community-based advocacy organizations to a collaborative process of intervention into cases of domestic abuse. In 2005, ADVIP members conducted a Safety and Accountability Audit examining three core interventions: criminal justice, child protection and advocacy.
The Audit provided an opportunity for this community intervention project to engage its members in a comprehensive analysis of their interventions and responses to domestic violence. The Audit was designed to allow the interagency team an opportunity to select key points of institutional intervention in domestic violence–related cases to determine how the design of those processes maximized opportunities to protect adult and child victims of domestic violence while holding the offender accountable for the abuse.
Race Equity Review: Findings from a Qualitative Analysis of Racial Disproportionality and Disparity for African American Children and Families in Michigan’s Child Welfare SystemNational data show that African American children and families are disproportionately represented in almost all child protective systems in the United States. Once involved with these systems, African American children are more likely to be removed from their homes, spend longer periods of time in out-of-home care, and oftentimes their families have less access to relevant and helpful social services. In 2007, the State of Michigan Department of Human Services, along with a working team led by the Center for the Study of Social Policy, undertook a close examination of two counties’ policies and protocols to determine the institutional factors contributing to this racial disproportionality and disparity. Full Report
Community-Based Analysis of the U.S. Legal System's Intervention in Domestic Abuse Cases Involving Indigenous Women
This report contains the findings of a 2000 study conducted by Mending the Sacred Hoop, of Minnesota Program Development, Inc., funded by the National Institute of Justice. The investigation, based in the concrete realities of Native women, analyzed how the U.S. legal system processes domestic assault and protection order cases in order to explore which of its aspects Tribal Nations should use for the implementation of irresponsive to Indigenous women who are abused by their partners.
Full Report (approximately 1MB)
Bellingham- Whatcom County, Washington
Report from the 2002 Domestic Violence Safety and Accountability Audit
The Bellingham-Whatcom County (WA) Commission Against Domestic Violence completed a Safety and Accountability Audit of the criminal justice system response, from 911 through jail booking and release. The final report includes 30 key findings and 66 recommendations.
A Report from the 2006 Domestic Violence Safety and Accountability Audit
Thirteen gaps in the fabric of safety and accountability in the City of Bellingham Prosecutor's Office, the Whatcom County Prosecutor's Office, and Whatcom County District Court Probation are identified in this report. The gaps and accompanying recommendations were identified by trained 10 member local audit team as they conducted a Domestic Violence Safety and Accountability Audit. The findings and gaps identify aspects of the prosecution and probation response that need attention in order to provide the most safety-driven and victim-oriented response possible.
City of Blaine, Washington
Domestic Violence Safety and Accountability Audit: Findings and Recommendations for the City of Blaine
In 2007, the Commission Against Domestic Violence conducted a Safety Audit on the police, prosecution, probation and court response to domestic violence cases in the City of Blaine. The report provides recommendations and ideas on ways to make improvements in the police, prosecution, probation and court response in order to provide the most safety-driven and victim-oriented response possible.
St. Louis County, Minnesota
The St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office in northeastern Minnesota conducted a Safety and Accountability Audit in 1998. The end product in the patrol phase of their audit is the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office Domestic Violence Handbook and Training Guide for Patrol Deputies.
Handbook and Training Guide
Jackson County, Oregon
Prosecution Response to Misdemeanor Domestic Violence Cases; Report from the 2003 Domestic Violence Safety and Accountability Audit
The audit in Jackson County was conceived to examine the response to domestic violence by agencies involved in the processing of misdemeanor domestic violence crimes. An 11-member audit team, comprised of practitioners from those agencies as well as battered women’s advocates, met together for two years to plan and organize the audit.They not only conceived of and defined the audit’s scope, but also woncooperation from their respective agencies, shared and analyzed considerable amounts of institutional data, and dedicated hours of their time to the audit process itself. This same audit team will be central to the implementation of the audit’s findings and recommendations.
2003 Full Report
The audit work in Jackson County continued in 2005, next examining the dispatch and law enforcement response to the following aspects of domestic violence: dual arrests or arrests of women, sexual assault,stalking, strangulation, child witnesses, and when involved parties are from under served populations such as communities of color, individuals with immigration status, non-English speakers, individuals in gay or lesbian relationships, etc.
2005 Full Report
La Crosse County, Wisconsin
Domestic Violence Safety and Accountability Audit Findings and Recommendations
In 2005, the Domestic Violence Intervention Project (DVIP) and its partners initiated a Safety and Accountability Audit in La Crosse County, the first community in Wisconsin to initiate a Safety Audit.The Safety Audit explored the following question: How is safety for victims of domestic violence in La Crosse County built into law enforcement response and other community intervention initiated by a call to 911?
2005 Full Report
In 2006, community partners in La Crosse County initiated a Phase 2 Safety Audit that asked: How do post-arrest and prosecution responses to domestic violence cases in La Crosse County enhance or diminish victim safety and batterer accountability? Their findings and recommendations are summarized in the final report.
2006 Full Report
The Northwestern District, Massachusetts
The Northwestern District of Massachusetts is made up of forty-seven municipalities, many of them small, isolated rural towns. This 2004 Audit reviewed 911/dispatch through police response, investigation and report writing. Six police departments were identified as representative of the diversity of the district. To that, the Audit team added the two regional dispatch control centers and the civili an dispatchers working within some of the participating police departments. This report includes detailed findings and recommendations.
For additional examples of audit and assessment report, see also
of community assessments conducted by the participants of the OVW-funded
Safe Havens: Supervised Visitation and Safe Exchange Demonstration Initiative
and the Battered
Women’s Justice Project.