In November 2015, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office implemented the Lethality Assessment Program (LAP) as part of a county-wide initiative aimed at improving services to victims of domestic violence. JCSO hired an advocate to assist victims in transitioning out of domestic violence situations.
The Lethality Assessment Program was created by the Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence. Through grant funded research, they developed a user-friendly tool to help first responders effectively assess domestic violence cases. JCSO deputies use LAP to identify victims who are in danger of experiencing further incidents of domestic violence.
Deputies receive specialized training to utilize the LAP questionnaire. A victim’s response to 11 questions help to determine the degree of risk. If the victim is found to be high-risk, the deputy immediately puts the victim in contact with a domestic violence advocate. This two-pronged intervention process is designed to prevent domestic violence related homicides by encouraging more victims to utilize the support and shelter services of domestic violence programs.
We hope this program will help to protect victims while strengthening our relationships with community partners.
Thank you for your support,
Captain Tim Snaith
Additional information can be found at http://mnadv.org/lethality/.
Reference: Jackson County Lethality Assessment Protocol (September 17, 2015), Jackson County Lethality Committee