Learn more about MAVDRS

The Massachusetts Violent Death Reporting System (MAVDRS) collects and links data on all violent deaths within the Commonwealth.

MAVDRS includes detailed information on all homicides, suicides, unintentional firearm deaths, legal intervention deaths and 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). Massachusetts was one of the first six states funded. Data collection began with deaths occurring on or after January 1, 2003.


NVDRS has 4 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 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.

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