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NCJ Number: 183443 Find in a Library
Title: Intimate Partner Violence: The Current Use of Risk Assessments in Sentencing Offenders
Journal: Justice System Journal  Volume:21  Issue:2  Dated:2000  Pages:171-198
Author(s): Jan Roehl; Kristin Guertin
Editor(s): Susette Talarico
Date Published: 2000
Page Count: 28
Sponsoring Agency: State Justice Institute
Alexandria, VA 22314
Grant Number: SJI-97-181-078
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: An initial literature review and discussions with experts in the field of intimate partner violence indicated that use of risk assessments by courts was in its infancy; the objective of this survey was to examine what risk assessment methods were being used and for what purposes.
Abstract: The literature review concentrated on risk factors and assessment instruments and on the identification of courts, criminal justice agencies, and victim service agencies using risk assessments. Major national, State, and local organizations and programs concerned with intimate partner violence and the criminal justice system were contacted for information about courts and court-related agencies known to use risk assessments. In all, 64 officials in 21 States were contacted; 48 officials in 18 States and 33 court systems were interviewed by telephone using a questionnaire. It was determined that several risk assessment instruments were used in court decisions about charging, pretrial release, probation, treatment, and incarceration of intimate partner offenders. Justice officials and judges found risk assessment results helpful in making decisions about sentencing and the allocation of scarce resources. Nonetheless, no solid evidence was found for the reliability, validity, and predictive accuracy of risk assessments, and unresolved legal and ethical issues associated with risk assessments were raised. The authors recommend caution in the use of risk assessments without further research. The questionnaire used in the telephone survey is appended. 26 references and 3 tables
Main Term(s): Victims of violent crime
Index Term(s): Court procedures; Dangerousness; Domestic assault; Violence prediction; Violent offenders
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