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NCJ Number: NCJ 157478     Find in a Library
Title: Domestic Violence Reforms: Empty Promises or Fulfilled Expectations?
Journal: Crime and Delinquency  Volume:41  Issue:4  Dated:special issue (October 1995)  Pages:541-552
Author(s): R C Davis ; B Smith
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 12
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article reviews what is known about the efficacy of major reforms designed to counter domestic violence.
Abstract: During the past few decades, criminal justice agencies have radically changed the way that they respond to domestic-violence incidents. Arrest has become the preferred police response to domestic incidents; prosecutors have acted to reduce the control of victims over domestic court cases; restraining orders are more widely used; and court-mandated treatment for batterers has become common. The research on mandatory arrest policies has been rigorous. As a result of National Institute of Justice efforts, mandatory arrest has been shown not to be effective public policy, although arrest has a role in many instances. More rigorous experimental designs with random assignment methods are needed for batterers' treatment programs, no-drop prosecution policies, and orders of protection. Methodologically sound research can obtain crucial empirical data that can inform policy on domestic violence. The authors speculate that research will show that there are no universal solutions to resolve domestic violence, just as researchers have found that arrest, batterers' programs, or restraining orders may work in some cases but not in others. Prosecuting cases in which victims do not wish to cooperate may be appropriate in some instances but inflict harm in others; it may also be too costly to pursue as a general policy. The authors conclude that whatever remedies for domestic violence are identified will not be simple nor universally applicable in all cases. 28 references
Main Term(s): Victims of violence
Index Term(s): Prosecution ; Deterrence effectiveness ; Restraining orders ; Domestic assault prevention ; Domestic assault arrest policies
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