A COMPREHENSIVE PARENT-CHILD PREVENTION PROGRAM FOR YOUTH VIOLENCE: THE YEA/MADRES PROGRAM:
Funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Nancy G. Guerra (PI), Jessica Borelli & Kirk R. Williams (CO-PIs)
(Graduate Student Researchers: Navjyot Kaur Gill, Veronica Valencia Gonzales & Deyanira Nevárez Martínez)
This project develops, implements, and evaluates an innovative youth and caregiver-engaged, community-based approach to preventing multiple forms of youth violence among low-income urban, Latino boys and girls. Building on a long-standing collaboration with Latino Health Access (LHA) in Santa Ana, CA, the project expands their youth promotoras (lay health workers) network into a comprehensive Youth Engaged for Action (YEA) program and extends the effective Madres a Madres promotora-led family engagement program to focus on adolescents and their caregivers. A new component is included in this program that is designed to strengthen attachment relationships. We will conduct a randomized controlled trial (RCT) of the integrated YEA/Madres program embedded in a larger 10-year Building Healthy Communities (BHC) initiative funded by the California Endowment (2010-2020) in six Santa Ana neighborhoods with violence rates approximately six times the national average. The YEA/Madres program will be delivered in three of these neighborhoods, with the other three neighborhoods serving as comparison sites. We can evaluate empirically the impact of the YEA/Madres program on individual and neighborhood-level outcomes. The YEA/Madres program will promote youth and parent attachment security, self-efficacy, and anti-violence norms, leading to decreases in individual youth violence and dating violence outcomes as well as reductions in serious youth violence in the community.
ORANGE COUNTY DOMESTIC VIOLENCE DEATH REVIEW TEAM
Kirk R. Williams
(Graduate Student Researchers: Amy Magnus & Kasey Ragan)
This project develops a coding guide based on previous research that identifies factors elevating the risk of intimate partner violence and intimate partner homicide. The coding guide is systematically applied to all domestic violence homicides in Orange County from 2006 to the present. The goal is to build risk profiles that would help criminal justice practitioners and service providers identify “red flags” that the violence is escalating to potentially life threatening levels, suggesting points of entry to de-escalate the violence and prevent the loss of life.
EVALUATION OF THE ORANGE COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT PRE-TRIAL RELEASE AND SUPERVISION PROGRAM (PARS)
Kirk R. Williams
(Graduate Student Researchers: Matt Barno & Deyanira Nevárez Martínez)
The Orange County (OC) Superior Court implemented a Pretrial Assessment Release and Supervision (PARS) program in February 2016, which utilizes the Virginia Pretrial Risk Assessment Instrument (VPRAI) to assist the court in making pretrial release decisions. Defendants placed on the PARS program receive pretrial release without having to post cash bond. However, they are subject to varying levels of pretrial supervision depending on their VPRAI risk assessment scores. Beyond expanding pretrial release alternatives to the cash bail system, the PARS program provides a model for how counties in California might incorporate evidence-based risk assessment into their pretrial release decisions, given the recent passage of Senate Bill 10, the California cash bail reform bill. The results of the evaluation indicate that the PARS program led to a significant increase in the number of defendants who receive pretrial release without having to post cash bond. Still, less than 40% of defendants recommended for the PARS program by probation were granted PARS when they appeared before the court. In determining whether to grant or deny PARS after a probation recommendation, the court appeared to place significant emphasis on current employment status, despite the fact that employment did not significantly predict pretrial failure when VPRAI risk scores were taken into account. Finally, among those recommended for PARS by probation, those placed on the PARS program were significantly less likely to fail-to-appear (FTA) compared to those released on cash bond. This project now is assessing the content and predictive validity of the VPRAI, with the goal of developing a revised instrument for the OC Superior Court.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SCREENING INSTRUMENT, REVISED (DVSI-R)
Kirk R. Williams
This project began 14 years ago in the State of Connecticut, based on research previously conducted in Colorado (Williams & Houghton, 2004). It involves conducting multiple analyses on the predictive validity of the DVSI-R, yielding multiple publications (Williams & Grant, 2006, Williams, 2007, Williams, 2012, Bell & Williams, 2013, Stansfield & Williams, 2014, Williams & Stansfield, 2017, and Campbell, Messing, & Williams, 2017, Stansfield & Williams, 2018). These published studies estimated the relation between the DVSI-R and 18-month follow up recidivism data under a variety of conditions and using different analytic methods. Current research involves a comparison of the predictive validity of the DVSI-R using data from criminal and civil (family) courts. This instrument is now being used to manage domestic violence cases pre- and post-adjudication in Connecticut and other jurisdictions across the country (e.g., Cleveland, Ohio; and Counties in Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York, Wyoming, Colorado, etc.).
CURE VIOLENCE: IMPROVING CHILDHOOD AND NEIGHBORHOOD OUTCOMES THROUGH REDUCTIONS IN VIOLENCE
Nancy G. Guerra & Kirk R. Williams
(Graduate Student Researcher: Alex Aguirre & Deyanira Nevárez Martínez)
This project addresses serious youth violence (primarily shootings and stabbings) and its effects on children in Chihuahua, Mexico. It involves an evaluation of the Cure Violence (CV) program, an evidence-based method of preventing firearm violence in disproportionately violent communities. The goal of this project is to determine whether the CV program will interrupt conflicts, reduce violent behaviors, and promote anti-violence norms, resulting in reduced levels of exposure to violence among children, reduced levels of fear of violence, and increased perceptions of safety and neighborhood cohesiveness.