Coordinated Community Responses to Domestic Violence in Six Communities: Beyond the Justice System. Kansas City, Missouri

10/01/1996

The greater Kansas City metropolitan statistical area (MSA) is a sprawling area that encompasses 11 counties (7 in Missouri and 4 in Kansas), and has a total population of nearly 1.6 million. Jackson County Missouri is the largest county in the MSA and contains the city of Kansas City, Missouri. With about 630,000 residents, Jackson County accounts for 40 percent of the MSA's total population, and it has a population that is about 75 percent white, and 20 percent African American; less than 3 percent of the population is of Hispanic origin. The outlying counties are much smaller and more rural than Jackson County.

This study focuses primarily on Jackson County, which has been at the center of the coordination activity, particularly within the criminal justice system. The Kansas City Police Department and the Kansas City Municipal Court have jurisdiction over part of Jackson County in addition to parts of several surrounding counties. The Missouri Circuit Courts' jurisdiction corresponds to counties, with each county having its own elected county prosecutor. The Jackson County Prosecutor's Office, the Circuit Court and the Kansas City Police Department and Municipal Court have worked together to formulate a response to domestic violence primarily within the Jackson County community, although in some cases the agencies' jurisdictions extend beyond Jackson County. The coordinated response of the area's seven shelters covers a broader geographic area, since these providers serve the entire metropolitan area.