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Guidelines Research Proposals Guidelines Research Proposals

Felony Child Abuse and Neglect § Focus: Convictions under § 18. 2 -371. 1(A) Felony Child Abuse and Neglect § Focus: Convictions under § 18. 2 -371. 1(A) between FY 03 and FY 07 • Any parent, guardian or other person responsible for the care of a child under the age of 18 who by willful act or omission or refusal to provide any necessary care for the child's health causes or permits serious injury to the life or health of such child. – For the purposes of this subsection, serious injury includes but is not limited to: – (i) disfigurement – (ii) a fracture – (iii) a severe burn or laceration – (iv) mutilation – (v) maiming – (vi) forced ingestion of dangerous substances – (vii) life-threatening internal injuries 2

Background § The Commission received 262 guidelines forms with felony child abuse as the Background § The Commission received 262 guidelines forms with felony child abuse as the most serious offense between FY 03 and FY 07 § Purpose of Study: Increase compliance with sentencing guidelines in felony child abuse cases 3

Data Sources § Sentencing Guidelines Database • Provides sentencing information from the guidelines forms, Data Sources § Sentencing Guidelines Database • Provides sentencing information from the guidelines forms, including the offender’s prior record, the nature of the offense(s), and judicial departure reasons, if applicable § Pre/Post-Sentence Investigation (PSI) Database • Provides detailed information regarding offenders and corresponding offenses – Includes the offender’s social history, victim characteristics, and the degree of victim injury – A detailed offense narrative is available in most cases, which allows for supplemental data collection 4

Supplemental Data Collection § Offense narratives are available for most cases in the PSI Supplemental Data Collection § Offense narratives are available for most cases in the PSI data • The narratives allow us to collect more detailed information regarding the offense and, in particular, the nature of the victim’s injuries – Since 33% of the judges who exceeded the guidelines recommendation cited victim injury as a departure reason, several measures of victim injury were developed for use in the supplemental data collection instrument 5

Proposed Supplemental Data Collection Instrument Age[i] ______ (99 Unknown) Gender 0 Female 1 Male Proposed Supplemental Data Collection Instrument Age[i] ______ (99 Unknown) Gender 0 Female 1 Male Number of Siblings _____ (99 Unknown) Offender Relationship to Victim 1. Parent 2. Sibling 3. Other Relative 4. Child Daycare Staff 5. Teacher/School Administrator 6. Babysitter 7. Other Caretaker[ii] 8. Unmarried Partner of Parent/Custodian 9. Other 99 Unknown Offender Lives with the Victim 0 No Age at the time of the offense – if series of offenses, age at time of 1 st offense [i] 1 Yes Includes foster parents, residential facility staff, legal guardian, etc. [ii] Failure to act – i. e. not paying attention, not seeking medical attention [iii] Act causes injury – i. e. striking the victim, burning the victim, etc. [iv] 9 Unknown Behavior of this Defendant 0 Neglect[iii] 1 Abuse[iv] 2 Both Offense Intended as Punishment for Misbehavior 0 No 1 Yes 9 Unknown 6

Proposed Supplemental Data Collection Instrument Cont. Emotional Injury[i] 0 No Mental health care counseling Proposed Supplemental Data Collection Instrument Cont. Emotional Injury[i] 0 No Mental health care counseling by counselor, therapist, etc. [i] 1 Yes Most Serious Injury (Current Offense) 1. None 2. Death 3. Resuscitation 4. Serious Physical/Permanent Impairment[ii] 5. Physical[iii] 6. Minor Physical[iv] 7. Threatened Only[v] 8. Emotional Only 99 Unknown Type of Injury (Circle all that apply) 1. Not Applicable/No Injury 2. Bruise/Superficial Mark 3. Burn 4. Cut/Laceration 5. Internal Bleeding or Bruising 6. Fracture/Broken Bone 7. Shaken Baby Syndrome 8. Other ______ 9. Unknown Life threatening injury or injury involved permanent impairment (permanent brain damage, loss of limb or organ, etc. ) [ii] Non-life threatening injury requiring hospitalization but not extensive or irreparable physical damage (i. e. broken bones, severe burns or lacerations, etc. ) [iii] Physical injuries not requiring hospitalization (i. e. bruises, minor cuts) [iv] Fear of impending danger – from victim’s perspective [v] Number of Injuries _____ 7

Proposed Supplemental Data Collection Instrument Cont. Offender Sought Medical Attention for Victim[i] 0 No Proposed Supplemental Data Collection Instrument Cont. Offender Sought Medical Attention for Victim[i] 0 No 1 Yes Alcohol/Drug Use at Time of Offense 0 None 1 Alc. 2 Drug 3 Both 9 Unk. Prior Abuse of Victim #1 by Offender 0 No 1 Yes Duration of Current Offense(s) Called an ambulance, took victim to hospital, etc. [i] 1. Single incident/assault 2. Multiple incidents in 1 week 3. Multiple incidents in 1 month 4. Multiple incidents in 1 year 5. Multiple incidents > 1 year Weapon Displayed/Used 1. No Weapon 2. Blunt Instrument 3. Water 4. Other _____ 9 Unknown 8

Additional Variables of Interest § Offender Factors • History of violence – Prior person Additional Variables of Interest § Offender Factors • History of violence – Prior person offenses • Prior convictions for: – Family offenses – Felony child abuse – Domestic assault § Offense Factors • Number of co-defendants • If other offenses were committed in conjunction with the child abuse/neglect 9

Work Plan § Commission staff would conduct data retrieval and analysis during the summer Work Plan § Commission staff would conduct data retrieval and analysis during the summer § Results of the analysis would be presented at the September 2008 meeting 10

Felony Vandalism § Focus: Convictions under § 18. 2 -137(B)(ii) between FY 03 and Felony Vandalism § Focus: Convictions under § 18. 2 -137(B)(ii) between FY 03 and FY 07 • Vandalism of property, memorial or monument with a value of $1, 000 or more § Purpose of Study: Explore possibility of adding felony vandalism to the miscellaneous sentencing guidelines worksheet 11

Background § Felony vandalism cases comprise the largest portion of convictions not covered by Background § Felony vandalism cases comprise the largest portion of convictions not covered by the guidelines § The staff of the Commission have attempted to incorporate this offense into the miscellaneous guidelines in the past but have been unsuccessful § The Commission has obtained access to an additional data source to supplement the cases contained in the Pre/Post-Sentence Investigation (PSI) Database 12

Data Sources § Pre/Post-Sentence Investigation (PSI) Database • Provides detailed information regarding offenders and Data Sources § Pre/Post-Sentence Investigation (PSI) Database • Provides detailed information regarding offenders and corresponding offenses • Is an incomplete representation of felony cases processed through Virginia’s circuit courts – PSI reports are not generated for some felony circuit court cases, particularly if the offender is not sentenced to a prison term or supervised probation – A lag in reporting exists • PSI data show 666 felony vandalism convictions between FY 03 and FY 07. Of these, felony vandalism was the primary offense in 281 cases. 13

Data Sources Cont. § Court Automated Information System (CAIS) • System used by most Data Sources Cont. § Court Automated Information System (CAIS) • System used by most of the circuit courts to track cases – Contains information on felony vandalism cases that are not in the PSI database – Includes basic case information, including offender demographics, the type of offense(s), and the type/length of sentence • According to preliminary analysis, there were 223 additional cases with felony vandalism as the primary offense at conviction between FY 03 and FY 07 14

Supplemental Data § More detailed information for the cases in the CAIS data would Supplemental Data § More detailed information for the cases in the CAIS data would be collected from various sources: • Virginia State Police (Prior record) • Sentencing guidelines and PSI data – Cases for the same offender that were resolved around the same time may provide additional information regarding the offender 15

Variables of Interest § Factors included on the miscellaneous worksheet • Counts of primary Variables of Interest § Factors included on the miscellaneous worksheet • Counts of primary offense • Additional offenses • Prior record • Legally restrained at the time of the offense § Additional factors • Value of property – Assessed through amount of restitution ordered 16

Work Plan § Commission staff would conduct data analysis during the summer § Results Work Plan § Commission staff would conduct data analysis during the summer § Results of the analysis would be presented at the September 2008 meeting 17

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