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Intimate Violence Enhanced Services Team, Jacksonville Sheriff's Office

2007 Award for Professional Innovation in Victim Services | National Crime Victims’ Service Awards

Intimate Violence Enhanced Services Team | Award for Professional Innovation in Victim Services
Team Members: Diana Perez Smiley; Sabrina Stargill; Heather Stevens; Martha Duncan; Lizzie Rodgers
Jacksonville, Florida

The Intimate Violence Enhanced Services Team (InVEST) is an investigative unit within the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office (JSO) established in 1999 as a community-based, collaborative response to domestic violence. InVEST reaches out to 2,000 victims of domestic violence every year. The team consists of a detective from the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, two advocates from Hubbard House, and administrative support staff from the JSO Victim Services Division. 

InVEST reviews police reports and referrals daily to determine if victims of domestic violence are at risk of being killed. If victims are identified as being at risk of serious harm, team members contact them and offer a wide range of services, including shelter, safety planning, relocation, financial assistance, and referrals to other victim service providers. 

InVEST uses the Threat Assessment Checklist (TAC), a technique that allows the team to assess individual domestic violence victims for risk of serious harm. TAC is completed by either the police officer at the site or by an agency staff member assisting the victim. This process not only helps InVEST identify the risk to victims, but it also gives victims a greater awareness of the threat to them and, in many cases, their children. 

Since InVEST began in 1999, domestic homicides in Jacksonville have decreased by 62 percent, and not one of the clients served in the program has died from domestic violence-related causes. 

InVEST was nominated by Dr. Shannon H. Perry, Division Chief, Victim Services Division, Jacksonville, Florida.