The Illinois (and National) Violent Death Reporting System (IVDRS) is an active (meaning data is sought and brought together), multisource approach for analysis of violent deaths (homicide and suicide). Information sources include death certificates, Coroner/Medical examiner records, Police records, Crime Lab data and various other ancillary sources to round out the “snapshot” of each of these individual’s deaths.
What is “neat” about this system is that it doesn’t collect only the usual “incident data”. It also collects information about the victims, the perpetrators (suspects), the weapons or means of death, information about the individuals involved and the relationships or connections of the victims and perpetrators. It ties in circumstances contributing to the death and characteristics of the death. A robust data set it collected and collated.
With this system you can pull out information like: the top three circumstances surrounding homicide are precipitation by another crime, intimate partner conflict, and drug involvement; or physical health problems contributed to about 25% of suicides; or if a woman is choked during an intimate partner violence assault there is a greater chance of subsequent homicide associated with a later episode of intimate partner violence.
Getting this information in Illinois, and across the country, will allow for a better understanding of violent behaviors and the associated causes and circumstances for both homicide and suicide. We can then improve risk factor identification (personal and social) and design programs to reduce the incidence of death associated with violence to one’s self or to others.
What a great project and opportunity.