skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 156608 Find in a Library
Title: What the Scientific Evidence Shows: On the Average, We Can Do No Better Than Arrest
Author(s): R A Berk
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 3
Sponsoring Agency: Domestic Abuse Project
Minneapolis, MN 55404
Sale Source: Domestic Abuse Project
204 West Franklin Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55404
United States of America
Type: Issue Overview
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper reviews the scientific evidence from studies of the effectiveness of various police policies regarding domestic violence incidents.
Abstract: The current balance of scientific evidence from the particular sites studied suggests that although arrest is not superior to a variety of other criminal justice interventions in domestic violence, there is no clearly better alternative. Consequently, unless there are legal, ethical, or practical reasons to prefer some other intervention, arrest is a viable option for police in responding to domestic violence incidents. There is some new evidence that arrest can have differential effects, however, depending on the offender's background. More studies must be conducted to identify which offender factors consistently determine the effectiveness of arrest in deterring violence. High-risk offenders, defined by prior record and the seriousness of the immediate offense, are likely to become more violent with the victim if released after arrest. A wise policy might be to couple arrest with protective measures for the victims, such as holding the offender in jail until a bail hearing and then denying bail. Restraining orders could be automatically signed, and victims could be encouraged to enter a shelter. Data analysis from six new experimental sites is not yet complete.
Main Term(s): Police policies and procedures
Index Term(s): Arrest and apprehension; Domestic assault; Victims of violent crime
Note: From Domestic Abuse Project Research Update, Number 6, Summer 1994.
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.