October 12, 2017

New Domestic Violence Risk Tool for Law Enforcement Available!

The Danger Assessment for Law Enforcement (DA-LE) is an evidence-based risk assessment instrument that is designed to identify victims who are at the highest risk of intimate partner homicide (IPH) or severe/near-lethal assault.It is administered on scene by law enforcement officers and acts as a supplement to the police report.

The DA-LE is a product of collaboration between researchers and practitioners. The Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center (JGCC) partnered with two leading researchers in the field of IPH, Dr. Jacquelyn C. Campbell, PhD, RN, FAAN of Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing and Dr. Jill Theresa Messing, MSW, PhD of Arizona State University School of Social Work.Together, they co-developed the DA-LE.  It is an evidence-based risk assessment instrument developed with usability in mind.

The DA-LE is easy to administer and score. It consists of 11 questions, collects a history of violence, and has a built-in threshold score to identify victims at high-risk of homicide or severe/near-lethal assault. The DA-LE also includes an override feature, allowing officers to use their professional judgment to override a low score under certain conditions.

There are two primary functions of the DA-LE.It was designed to provide additional information to the court to inform criminal justice proceedings, including bail. The DA-LE is also used to encourage victims identified as high risk to connect with domestic violence services through a customized protocol. Direct contact with victims, often after a violent event, provides officers with the unique opportunity to inform victims of their risk which may increase the likelihood that they will take protective actions. 

Two separate data souces were used from previously conducted studies to bth create and test the DA-LE.  Risk assessment instruments are measured by their predictive validity, the accuracy with which the are able to predict future events.  Testing revealed that the DA-LE has considerable predictive validity. 

The DA-LE was originally developed for use by law enforcement agencies within the Domestic Violence High Risk Team (DVHRT) Model.  However, the DA-LE can be impactful and effective in your community as an independent risk assessment tool incorporated into your domestic violence response system. 

Please email dvhrt@jeannegeiger.org for more information. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Click here to access an article featuring the DA-LE in Policing: A Journal of Policy and PracticeInforming Collaborative Interventions: Intimate Partner Violence Risk Assessment for Front Line Police Officers