CITY OF BOSTON,
No "Next Time:" Boston's Strategy to Prevent Repeat Domestic Violence Victimizations
The goal of No "Next Time" is to prevent repeat domestic violence victimizations through a new and coordinated system of intervention and enforcement of Abuse Prevention Orders. Rigorous and pro-active intervention and enforcement with those individuals who are most likely to commit repeat offenses will build on Boston's existing policy of presumption of arrest by patrol officers responding to domestic violence incidents.
No "Next Time" targets subjects of Abuse Prevention Orders under Massachusetts General Laws c.209a (hereafter 209a's) in the Boston neighborhoods most impacted by domestic violence. Enforcement teams -- called Domestic Violence Response Teams -- to be coordinated by the Boston Police Department and made up of the state Office of the Commissioner of Probation, the Massachusetts Parole Board, the Suffolk County (Boston) District Attorney, probation officers in the district courts and sworn and civilian BPD personnel will conduct intensive supervision and enforcement with those 209a subjects who are: on probation, on parole; wanted on outstanding arrest warrants; possess firearms licenses; or have violent criminal histories. We will not wait for the "next time," when the subject violates the order and another desperate call comes into the police.
The Program Analysts to be hired under the grants will provide the enforcement teams with daily reports on 209.A subjects in each of the five priority enforcement categories (probation, paroles, warrants, firearms licenses, violent histories). The enforcement teams will target those subjects for apprehension, enforcement and control efforts. Tactics will include written notices and home and workplace visits to subjects on parole and probation; and arrests. For those arrested, the prosecutors will have a greater chance of conviction based on the profiles.
This approach will generate more and higher-quality arrests, as measured by prevention of subsequent offenses -- and put 209a subjects on notice that a coordinated public safety and criminal justice community takes Abuse Prevention Orders very seriously and that we intend to enforce them in order to prevent the next victimization. Observance of the terms of the restraining order in effect will become conditions of the probation and parole orders for these subjects; those 209a subjects wanted on outstanding warrants will be prioritized for arrest; and consistent with federal law their firearms licenses will be revoked. In cases in which the subject has a violent criminal past but is not the subject of any current court sanction, the victim will receive priority attention from civilian victim advocates who are joining the effort under a U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services-supported outreach effort.
According to the Massachusetts Registry of Civil Restraining Orders, 75% of those against whom restraining orders were issued have previous criminal histories and 50% of those have committed crimes against another person. Research indicates that a strategy of intensive control coupled with effective treatment can reduce offenses by the population by as much as 40 percent.
This strategy has been extremely successful in the area of preventing youth violence, with the target population being hard core gang-involved youth involved in firearm violence and drugs.
CONTACT: Maria Cheevers, Boston Police Headquarters, 154 Berkeley Street, Boston, MA 02116, (617) 343-4399, (617) 343-5073.
The United States Conference of Mayors
J. Thomas Cochran, Executive Director
Copyright © 1999, US Conference of Mayors, All rights reserved.