Individuals – Goosey et al. (2017)

Study Reference:

Goosey, J., Sherman, L., & Neyroud, P. (2017). Integrated case management of repeated intimate partner violence: A randomized, controlled trial. Cambridge Journal of Evidence-Based Policing1, 174-189.

Location in the Matrix; Methodological Rigor; Outcome:

Individuals; Focused; Reactive; Very Rigorous; Effective

What police practice or strategy was examined?

This study evaluated the effectiveness of the Domestic Abuse Service Coordination (DASC) of the Thames Valley Police (Berkshire, England). The DASC is a multi-agency intervention for couples who have repeated reports of intimate partner violence (IPV). The project involves structured monthly meetings of several partners, including the police, family and juvenile social services, substance abuse services, and probation and offender management. DASC planned to deliver treatments composed of increased support to victims, one-to-one counseling sessions for perpetrators, and follow-up police and practitioner visits to the home address of the victim and perpetrator. This strategy aimed to reduce the frequency or severity of harm of subsequent incidents from those couples who repeatedly report domestic abuse to the police.

How was the intervention evaluated?

A randomized controlled experiment was conducted to evaluate the delivery of the multi-agency integrated case management program. Three batches of 60 IPV victim and perpetrator pairs (or “dyads”) were enrolled, with data collected on services delivered to them and police records for 2 years before and 2 years after random assignment to treatment and control groups. Randomization was used to limit the treatments to 30 dyads in each cohort of 60 and ensure that all eligible dyads were equally able to be assigned to either experimental cohort. The researchers measured the delivery of all three elements of treatment offered: (1) victim support through Berkshire Women’s Aid, (2) one-to-one perpetrator counseling through motivational interviewing techniques, and (3) follow-up visits to the home addresses of perpetrators and victims. The outcomes for each couple in terms of the severity of harm were compared using the before-after Cambridge Crime Harm Index (CHI). The CHI translates each crime type into a value related to the starting point sentence recommended for a first-time offender by the Sentencing Guidelines Council. Moreover, the after-only frequency of non-criminal domestic conflict events was also compared.

What were the key findings?

The mean difference between 24 months of post-random assignment and the 24 months baseline period for treatment group cases was 8.85 fewer CHI days in prison post-assignment than in the baseline, while the control group cases had a mean change of 4.15 more Cambridge CHI prison days. However, this evidence cannot specify how much of that benefit was caused by the consistent police visits to offenders versus other program elements for both victims and offenders. Additionally, more non-crime events were reported post-randomization by the treatment group (112) than the control group (85).

What were the implications for law enforcement?

The authors believed that the multi-agency partnership of the DASC project using an RCT showcases positive effects for law enforcement agencies on dealing with repeated domestic abuse. The authors hypothesize that the effects of the contamination with some control groups receiving treatments and differences between police-led and partner-agency-led treatments may underestimate the benefits of this intervention.

Where can I find more information about this intervention, similar types of intervention, or related studies?