The Blueprint for Safety is meant to be a dynamic, active response to battering, not a document that sits on a shelf. Once the initial adaptation is complete and the new policies and practice are set in motion, monitoring and revising the Blueprint positions a community to sustain this new way of working together and solving problems. Phase 5 links directly back to the early steps in building an identity as a Blueprint and forming the adaptation team. The Blueprint coordinator, advocate, and champions—agency, practitioner, and community champions—all have a role in keeping the Blueprint true to its principles, goals, and practice. Phase 5 solidifies the data gathering and assessment that helps maintain the Blueprint over time. The ongoing work of the Blueprint involves regular reviews of agency practice and attentiveness to potential disparities of impact and unintended consequences. Phase 5 is anchored in the key role that community-based advocacy and community consultation have in keeping victims of battering visible and central to the criminal legal system’s intervention.
Internal monitoring activities address practitioner compliance with policies and administrative practice. Interagency monitoring activities reinforce the Blueprint as a collective policy. The goals of ongoing monitoring are to:
- Ensure that practitioners are carrying out Blueprint policy and practice as designed and intended.
- Ensure that the planned interagency information sharing, cooperation, and accountability measures have been implemented.
- Identify problems unforeseen in the Blueprint design or implementation and correct them.
- Identify and correct any unintended negative outcomes and disparate impact of Blueprint policy and practice.
In essence, Phase 5 poses this question: “We said we were going to do X, Y, and Z with the Blueprint for Safety. Are we doing this? If not, why not? What needs to change?”
The full range of people and partnerships that have developed over the course of adapting the Blueprint continue to be involved, from the champions to the individuals who serve on the implementation team and ad hoc work groups. The Blueprint coordinator continues to have a pivotal role in the day-to-day oversight of the Blueprint. Agency liaisons help the implementation team secure the necessary data and implement the monitoring plan. Agency supervisors monitor internal policy and practice and contribute to ongoing interagency reviews. Ad hoc groups are convened as needed to participate in monitoring and assessment activities. The Blueprint advocate provides a bridge between community-based advocates and criminal legal system agencies as they implement the advocacy-initiated response. The coordinator, advocate, and the organizations and individuals participating in community consultation help keep the experiences of victims of battering visible and central to the Blueprint. The coordinator, advocate, and implementation team prepare an annual “state of the Blueprint” report to update the community on the impact of the Blueprint as a unified, collective policy.
Tasks & Tools
The Blueprint coordinator and implementation team continue to use tools introduced throughout the entire adaptation process to track progress and assess and identify problems. While a Blueprint community with an active monitoring plan in place would rarely, if ever, conduct a full 911-through-sentencing policy and practice assessment, it will use the assessment tools as needed—and case review, in particular—to determine how the Blueprint is working and to identify any implementation problems. Internal monitoring by agency supervisors provides ongoing quality control and identifies needed corrections or problems that warrant further attention in the interagency review. Ad hoc groups are convened as needed to study a specific problem, revise policy language, or change an administrative practice, with information going back to the coordinator to keep track of issues and changes as they emerge. Ongoing agency training returns to and expands upon core Blueprint practices, such as documenting and communicating information about risk and danger, strengthening witness interviews and officers’ direct observations, making more use of undercharged crimes such as witness tampering, improving the investigation of charging of suspects who have left the scene, and using more thorough self-defense and predominant aggressor determinations to minimize arrest and charging of victims of battering. Community consultation continues as a key tool for keeping the experiences of battered women visible and addressing disparity for victims of battering from communities that are overrepresented and/or underserved in the criminal legal system. The essential elements provide a steady point of reference for examining policy and practice. The coordinator continues to use such tools as the agency tracking system and strategies to stay focused to help manage the day-to-day monitoring and interagency response. The coordinator and implementation team prepare an annual “state of the Blueprint” report to update the community on the impact of the Blueprint for Safety as a unified policy and practice.
View and download the Phase 5 – Key Tasks, Tools and People chart highlighting the major tasks, listed below, involved in the phase of monitoring and revising, the tools introduced or useful at each step, and the key players involved. The key people who will carry out the Phase 5 tasks include: the Blueprint Coordinator, the Blueprint Advocate, the Implementation Team, agency liaisons, supervisors and directors.
Phase 5 Key Tasks
- Establish a calendar and tracking system for agency data collection, monitoring activities, and anticipated reports.
- Evaluate whether and how essential elements and features of the Blueprint are working.
- Implement ongoing monitoring activities: (1) internal and (2) interagency.
- Form small interagency work groups to review cases or conduct other practice assessment as needed to determine how agency practitioners are following new policies and practices.
- Evaluate the extent to which agencies are working together on shared tasks, such an interagency case review and other monitoring.
- Collect statistical data for domestic violence-related crimes, including 911 calls, arrests, crimes charged, disposition, sentencing, and demographics.
- Conduct annual focus groups and other consultation with victims/survivors to learn about their experiences with the implemented policies and practice.
- Include agency directors, liaisons, and supervisors in addressing low or incorrect compliance with Blueprint policies and practice.
- Present an annual report on Blueprint implementation internally to administrators (internal monitoring) and to the Blueprint implementation team (interagency monitoring).
- Assess for unintended harmful consequences and disparity of impact and adapt Blueprint policies and practice to address.
- Adapt Blueprint policies and practice as needed to address unforeseen and new problems.
- Update the community on the impact of the Blueprint collective policy, with specific attention to community-based organizations that regularly work with battered women and those representing marginalized communities.
- Keep the experiences of battered women visible and central throughout the monitoring process via ongoing community consultation.
- Utilize community consultations to help guide the monitoring, with specific attention to communities that are overrepresented and/or underserved communities in seeking help from the criminal legal system.
The new tool in Phase 5 is the Interagency Accountability Check (Appendix 29), which defines five dimensions of accountability and provides a template for tracking agency successes and gaps in meeting them. The tools referenced in Phase 5 are listed below and can also be located in the Appendix section of the Guide:
29. Interagency Accountability Check (editable)