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NCJ Number: 200644 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Beyond the Gatekeepers: Court Professionals' Self-Reported Attitudes About and Experiences with Misdemeanor Domestic Violence Cases
Journal: Criminal Justice and Behavior  Volume:30  Issue:3  Dated:June 2003  Pages:349-373
Author(s): Jennifer L. Hartman; Joanne Belknap
Date Published: 2003
Page Count: 25
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 96-WT-NX-0004
Dataset: DATASET 1
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article examines court professionals’ opinions about and experiences with misdemeanor domestic violence cases.
Abstract: While much research has focused on police decisionmaking in domestic violence cases, scant research has focused on the court processing of domestic violence cases. In order to fill this void, the authors examined the interview and survey data from 62 municipal court professionals, including judges, prosecutors, and public defenders. The survey instrument and interviews focused on the court professionals’ opinions about both what should be and what actually were the legal variables that most commonly influence domestic violence court decisions. Results revealed that, consistent with prior research, court professionals place heavy emphasis on victim participation as a major influence on court decisionmaking. On the other hand, victim advocate participation and batterer intervention workers’ opinions were reported as the least influential variables in court decisionmaking. Another important finding revealed that court professionals believed case sentences had little impact on domestic violence recidivism. These findings indicate that victim participation is a crucial variable to the successful processing of domestic violence cases and, thus, future research should focus how to enable more victims to participate fully in the court process. Tables, references
Main Term(s): Court personnel attitudes; Domestic assault
Index Term(s): Court research; Decisionmaking; Judicial decisions; Misdemeanor; Victim/Witness Advocates
Note: Dataset may be archived by the NIJ Data Resources Program at the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data
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