RD280 - Review of Lethality Assessment Programs (LAP)

Executive Summary:
Item 393 #4c of the 2013 Budget Bill directed DCJS to “review the experience of other states in establishing lethality assessment programs to train law enforcement officers in responding to situations involving domestic violence and potential deadly threats. The review shall include an assessment of the costs and benefits of establishing a program in Virginia and potential first steps which could be taken by the department within existing resources. Copies of the review shall be provided to the Secretary of Public Safety and the Chairmen of the Senate Finance and House Appropriations Committees by October 1, 2013.”

This report describes what comprises a lethality assessment program (LAP), the goals of the program and how it works. It discusses the experiences of states and localities that have lethality assessment programs in operation, and in particular, what it takes to prepare for implementation of such a program. The report also lists some of the ways that implementation of a lethality assessment program would benefit Virginia as well as some of the costs that such an effort would incur. Finally, it discusses the recommended first steps to implementing a lethality assessment program within existing or with minimal resources.