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NCJ Number: 157873 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Crime, Punishment, and Stake in Conformity: Legal and Informal Control of Domestic Violence
Journal: American Sociological Review  Volume:57  Issue:5  Dated:(October 1992)  Pages:680-690
Author(s): L W Sherman; D A Smith
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 11
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Washington, DC 20531
US Dept of Justice NIJ Pub
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 86-IJ-CX-K043
Dataset: DATASET 1
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Because deterrence and labeling theories offer inconsistent predictions about the relative impact of legal and informal controls on subsequent criminal activities of arrested persons, a controlled experiment based on police contacts for domestic violence offenses in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, was conducted to determine if the effect of arrest on recidivism depended on key individual characteristics and "stake in conformity."
Abstract: The study focused on 1,200 cases of misdemeanor domestic battery reported to the Milwaukee Police Department between April 1987 and August 1988. Suspects varied by race and stake in conformity. Almost all suspects were male, and 79 percent were black. Three treatments were employed: (1) standard arrest in which suspects were held until the morning unless they could post bail; (2) short arrest in which suspects were released on their recognizance; and (3) police warning but no arrest. Contrary to deterrence theories, arrest had no overall crime reduction effect in either official or victim interview measures of repeat domestic violence. Consistent with labeling theories, arrest increased recidivism among those with a low stake in conformity, the unemployed and the unmarried. Neither race nor record of prior offenses conditioned the effect of arrest on subsequent domestic violence. Study results are consistent with findings from similar experiments in other parts of the United States. 58 references and 2 tables
Main Term(s): Victims of violent crime
Index Term(s): Abused women; Arrest procedures; Domestic assault arrest policies; Domestic assault prevention; Female victims; Male offenders; Misdemeanor; Recidivism prediction; Violence prevention; Violent men; Violent offenders; Wisconsin
Note: NIJ Reprint
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