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NCJ Number: 135975 Find in a Library
Title: Policing Domestic Violence: Perceptions, Experience, and Reality
Journal: Criminal Justice Review  Volume:16  Issue:2  Dated:(Autumn 1991)  Pages:198-213
Author(s): P C Friday; S Metzgar; D Walters
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 16
Sponsoring Agency: Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo, MI 49002
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This research explores police attitudes and experiences with a departmental policy favoring arrest in cases of domestic violence. It also addresses the impact that such a policy may have on future domestic violence calls.
Abstract: Analyses were based on two data sets: (a) calls and arrests recorded for 2 years prior to the implementation of an arrest policy and for 2 years after and (b) a survey of patrol and command officers. This is a study of the impact of an arrest policy on the police; it is not a study of domestic violence per se. The findings reflect "normal police operations." Survey data suggest that officers strongly supported both the law permitting spouse arrest and the departmental policy, because it gave them more power, but that they were uncertain of the actual impact on their own return calls and on the victims. The statistical data reveal that arrest minimally impacted the number of subsequent calls; the vast majority of calls resulted in no callbacks whether an arrest was made or not. In looking at prior contact with the police for domestic violence, the impact of arrest was more evident. The greatest impact of arrest was seen on those who had had no prior contacts. The largest proportion of callbacks involved offenders who had prior records for domestic violence and who were not arrested, and the lowest proportion involved offenders with no priors who were arrested. Prior police contacts with victims were also reviewed, revealing that a small but significant proportion of victims had had drunk and disorderly charges, whereas perpetrators showed a high number of contacts for both disorderly and other criminal behaviors. Police experience with these cases has tended to create selective generalization regarding the nature of domestic violence and the impact of policy. (Author abstract)
Main Term(s): Family crisis intervention units; Police attitudes
Index Term(s): Domestic assault; Police policy development
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