HomeFront Project

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ISBN: PS4-42/7-2007

Table of Contents

HomeFront was a four-year initiative in Calgary, Alberta. It consisted of a coordinated community response to address the issue of domestic violence. It brought together a number of social services, law enforcement and criminal justice agencies and included the establishment of a specialized Domestic Violence First Appearance Court.

The objective of HomeFront was, and continues to be, a speedier, more integrated justice and community response to domestic violence incidents. HomeFront started as a time-limited project from 2000 to 2004. However, it has now evolved into a stand-alone agency that is sponsored by the United Way of Calgary.

The initial goals of HomeFront were to:

Project assessment

A process and outcome evaluation was conducted. Surveys, interviews and focus groups were used to obtain feedback from stakeholders and service providers such as shelter workers, treatment agency representatives, police and probation officers. In addition, the outcome evaluation used others data sources such as Domestic Court Case Worker and Crown files, incorporating a quasi-experimental design to assess the results of the project.

Twenty-four months following the offenders' appearance in court for a domestic violence offence, data was collected comparing the recidivism rates of offenders who had been convicted prior to and subsequent to the establishment of the specialized Domestic Violence First Appearance Court.

Evaluation findings report on 2,874 individuals during the implementation of the specialized Domestic Violence Court project from May 1st, 2001 and December 31, 2003. As part of the comparison group, baseline data were collected on a sample of 2,478 accused of domestic violence tracked prior to inception of the Court between January 1st, 1998 and April 1st, 1999.

Key findings

The process evaluation revealed that:

The outcome evaluation indicated that:

Lessons learned

Conclusion

The HomeFront Project successfully addressed the issue of domestic violence in the province of Alberta. The provincial government expanded its support for the specialized domestic violence court.

The HomeFront Project evaluation adds to the growing body of knowledge on specialized courts, and in particular, on integrated justice and community responses to prevent recidivism of domestic violence cases.

For more information or to receive a copy of the final evaluation report please contact the National Crime Prevention Centre at 1-800-830-3118.

For more information on the HomeFront organization that resulted from this project, visit www.homefrontcalgary.com.

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