The Massachusetts Violent Death Reporting System (MAVDRS) collects and links data on all violent deaths within the Commonwealth. It includes detailed information on all:
  • homicides
  • suicides
  • unintentional firearm deaths
  • deaths of undetermined intent

The system combines information from death certificates, medical examiner records, toxicology reports, police reports and crime laboratory reports. Individually, these sources explain violence only in a narrow context; together, they provide comprehensive answers to the questions that surround violent death: who, what, when, where, and, in many cases, why. No other system offers this benefit.

This standardized database is part of the National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS) developed and funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). There are currently 18 states funded to participate in NVDRS. Massachusetts was one of the first six states funded. Data collection began with deaths occurring on or after January 1, 2003.

NVDRS has four main objectives:

  • To link records about violent deaths for the same incident to help identify detailed circumstances that precede multiple homicides or homicides followed by suicides
  • To provide timely preliminary information through faster data retrieval
  • To describe, in detail, circumstances that may have contributed to the violent death
  • To better characterize perpetrators, including their relationship to the victim(s)

The ultimate goal of NVDRS is to provide communities with a clearer understanding of violent deaths so these deaths can be prevented. Understanding the complex circumstances surrounding these deaths will provide important and useful information in the development of prevention initiatives. NVDRS provides insight into the potential points for intervention and ways to evaluate and improve violence prevention efforts.

This project is supported by Grant #U17/CE001316-01 from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.




Additional Information

Data Requests

  • Please contact us for customized data requests, copies of publications, or additional information on MAVDRS.
  • A Fast Track report of MAVDRS data is sent out via email each month. If you are interested in receiving this report, please contact us. You can receive the report for a particular county or for all counties.
  • Data for all NVDRS states can be found on the CDC WISQARS page. WISQARS is an interactive query system that provides data on fatal and nonfatal injuries in the United States. The WISQARS NVDRS module provides detailed information on violent death from NVDRS. Data are available from participating states for violence-related deaths, including incident counts, and crude and age-adjusted death rates by manner of death and cause of injury.
  • Information on requesting the Restricted Access NVDRS database can be found on the CDC website.

Contact Information

Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Injury Surveillance Program
250 Washington Street, 6th Floor
Boston, MA 02108
phone: 617-624-5664
fax: 617-624-5099
email: DPH-NVDRS@State.MA.US

This information is provided by the Injury Surveillance Program within the Department of Public Health.