Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $117,000)
The Maine Statistical Analysis Center, in partnership with the Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence, proposes to evaluate PFA data by employing Remark to scan and process all of Maine’s 2019 temporary and final PFA orders to complete a quantitative analysis of the estimated 5,000 PFA cases from that year. Remark is an industry-standard software that uses optical mark recognition to read and extract data from paper files and images. The project seeks to use 2019 PFAs to establish, for the first time, baseline data from a period when Maine’s district courts had close to full bench of experienced judges and court proceedings were not yet thrown into upheaval by the COVID-19 pandemic. A full year of what has been ordered statewide would also provide evidence of court practices and trends that are critical to determining how system advocacy efforts should be prioritized to enhance the utility of the PFA process for Maine survivors. This data would also serve as a foundation from which to structure advocacy and policy goals looking forward several years. Finally, the data can help inform improved judicial branch data collection practices in their electronic case management system that would allow for more timely access to PFA data.