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Research

EVALUATIONS

In response to an August 2018 solicitation from the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (TNDMHSAS), in partnership with the Tennessee Association of Recovery Court Professionals (TARCP), the Shelby County Mental Health Court (MHC)  partnered with the University of Memphis Public Safety Institute (PSI) to develop an evaluation proposal. The proposal was funded and the project began Oct. 1, 2018. Although the project period was initially to be 12 months, we requested and received a six-month extension
due to difficulty in obtaining some of the necessary data. Just before the final report was due, the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States and we were forced to request another extension. This report provides details of the quantitative and qualitative methods used in the evaluation, analysis and results, as well as some conclusions and recommendations. Full Evaluation

BRIEFS

IN THEIR OWN WORDS: Domestic Violence Survivors' Experiences with Memphis and Shelby County Resources
It is generally accepted within criminology that victims who are dissatisfied with their experiences with the criminal justice system will be less likely to participate if they are victimized again. Family justice centers (FJCs) provide survivors of domestic violence and their families with social services and support related to temporary and long-term housing, protection orders, custody of minor children and assistance with other legal proceedings. If survivors are satisfied with their experiences at an FJC, revictimization may be less likely and programs may be considered successful. As a measure of program success, then, it is important to gauge survivor satisfaction with services. As part of a state-funded evaluation, focus groups were conducted with survivors of domestic violence, including survivors serviced by the local FJC. This brief provides preliminary findings from the first series of focus groups and  identifies common themes of survivor satisfaction, as well as areas for improvement for law enforcement, service agencies and the court system. Read the Brief

ASSESSMENTS

Gang Injunction Interim Assessment for 2020
This research interim assessment is designed to look at the effectiveness of safety zone injunctions. This assessment seeks to address three research questions: (1) Do injunctions reduce the number of violent offenses in the safety zone areas?, (2) Do gang injunctions reduce arrests of individuals subject to the injunctions? and (3) Do police officers working in precincts with safety zones know about the injunctions and prohibited behaviors? Read the full Report

PSI Assessment of SafeWays
SafeWays is a Memphis-based nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that helps Shelby County apartment owners and managers of apartment communities reduce crime and improve quality of life for their residents. Read the complete assessment

Data-Driven Deployment by the Memphis Police Department in 2018
Last year, the PSI conducted an assessment to determine whether, during calendar year 2017 (see assessment below), the Memphis Police Department's commitment to data-driven deployment of resources by identifying crime hot spots in each precinct on a weekly basis had an impact on crime patterns. That assessment indicated a consistent short-term positive impact. The PSI decided to conduct a similar assessment for calendar year 2018 to determine if there was a consistency in results from year to year. This assessment covers 2018 and seeks to determine the impact of the Memphis Police Department's continued commitment to weekly identification of crime hot spots at the precinct level. Download the Full Report

Fed-Up Media Campaign Analysis Spring 2020
In 2016, the Memphis Shelby Crime Commission spearheaded development of a five-year community-wide Safe Community Plan (the third such plan). In an agreement between the Crime Commission and the University, the PSI is charged with assessing and evaluating various parts of the plan as they are implemented, both in terms of processes and outcomes. Full Assessment

Assessment of Neighborhood Safety Initiative in Designated Geographic Areas of Memphis
This interim assessment/report looks at the different components of the NSI, the processes involved and some of the outcomes. It contains both conclusions and recommendations going forward. Download the Assessment

Interim Assessment of Gang Injunctions and Safety Zones in Memphis
This research interim assessment is designed to look at the effectiveness of safety zone injunctions. This assessment seeks to address three research questions: (1) Do injunctions reduce the number of violent offenses in the safety zone areas?, (2) Do gang injunctions reduce arrests of individuals subject to the injunctions? and (3) Do police officers working in precincts with safety zones know about the injunctions and prohibited behaviors? Read the full PDF 

Data-Driven Deployment by the Memphis Police Department in 2017
This assessment deals with a key objective of the Operation: Safe Community five-year plan — data-driven deployment of law enforcement resources, in this case by the Memphis Police Department. Download PDF of the Assessment

REPORTS

Community Prosecution Report (Spring 2021)
According to the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, community prosecution (CP) programs "[encourage] collaboration between prosecutors, criminal justice partners and the community to create safer neighborhoods" (Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, n.d.). This model specifically introduces a community-centered approach to identifying key problems in neighborhoods and determining how to best respond to and mitigate these problems. Download the full report in PDF format

Executive Summary
Memphis, Tennessee has consistently high levels of violent crime, with domestic violence (DV) being one of the most serious problems facing the community. Unlike other forms of violence, however, DV includes multiple forms of aggression and can be more pervasive than just physical assaults. While DV can include any violence between individuals related by blood or marriage, in this context it focuses on the physical, sexual, psychological, emotional, and other forms of violence specifically between and by romantic and marital partners. In addition, domestic intimate partner violence is not correlated with any demographic variables and knows no racial, ethnic, gender, age, or income bounds. Read the Executive Summary. The full report can be found at this link.

Homicide, Domestic Violence, Youth & Guns in Memphis
This presentation results from various research conducted at the request of various agencies and for program development and implementation. Download: PowerPoint | PDF

MORE ON MEMPHIS HOMICIDES

At the request of various public agencies, Drs. James McCutcheon, Bert Burraston, Amaia Ratzoqui, and Angela Madden of the University of Memphis Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice have been leaders in conducting research on homicides in Memphis. ( Dr. Madden serves as Research Associate Professor for the Public Safety Institute.) Their research provides insight into certain "predictors" of neighborhood homicides, including the impact of geographic location, a history of domestic violence, residential mobility, educational level, and age. CLICK HERE for more detailed results of their research.