Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $224,316)
The Wyoming SAC (WYSAC) proposes collecting and analyzing 10 years of data on domestic violence-related homicides (DVHs) to identify specific risk factors that may have contributed to the homicide and any gaps or deficiencies in law enforcement’s responses to previous domestic violence charges against the offender. The goal of the project is to develop recommendations for improving prevention efforts and response strategies related to domestic violence. Wyoming does not have a domestic violence homicide review board (DVHRB) but could use findings from this project to support efforts to create a permanent DVHRB for the State. Following guidance from the National Domestic Violence Fatality Review Initiative, WYSAC will draw a sample of DVH victims from compensation claims for burial expenses submitted to the Wyoming Crime Victim Compensation Program. WYSAC will then analyze administrative data (e.g., police reports, the statewide protection order registry) and data on media coverage to learn of offenders’ past arrests for domestic violence-related offenses, violation of protective orders, and disqualification from owning firearms. Finally, WYSAC will conduct interviews with a subsample of victims’ families to gather data that may not be contained in the administrative data (e.g., events that immediately preceded the DVH and past violence that did not result in police involvement). Under the special emphasis area, the WYSAC proposes adding data to the Sequential Intercept Model (SIM) developed by Natrona County to show how people with mental health and substance use disorders engage with and flow through the model’s intercepts. Data analysis will reveal gaps in services and opportunities to address the disproportionate number of people with behavioral health issues who end up in the criminal justice system. Natrona County will use findings to identify interventions and policy changes with the potential to keep more people with mental health and substance use disorders out of the criminal justice system. WYSAC will follow guidelines from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to finalize the project’s methodology. Once Natrona County has made the recommended changes, WYSAC will assess impact and use findings to guide further improvements. This project can impact what we learn about 1) the challenges and burdens of sharing data across systems and sectors, and 2) the potential of cross-sector collaboration to provide better outcomes in both public safety and public health.