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NCJ Number: 220765 Find in a Library
Title: System Alert: Arizona's Criminal Justice Response to Domestic Violence
Author(s): Richard Toon Ph.D.; Bill Hart
Corporate Author: Morrison Institute for Public Policy
School of Public Affairs, College of Public Programs
United States of America
Date Published: October 2007
Page Count: 127
Sponsoring Agency: Arizona Governor's Cmssn to Prevent Violence Against Women
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Morrison Institute for Public Policy
Temple, AZ 85287-4405
Sale Source: Morrison Institute for Public Policy
School of Public Affairs, College of Public Programs
Arizona State University
PO Box 874405
Temple, AZ 85287-4405
United States of America
Document: HTML
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined how well the criminal justice system fulfills the domestic violence (DV) response goals of victim safety and offender accountability in Arizona.
Abstract: Despite its successes, Arizona’s criminal justice system falls short of achieving victim safety and offender accountability. According to the system’s front-line professionals, DV remains as big a problem as ever. Considering Arizona’s rapid growth, the consequences of failing to improve the State’s response to this extremely common violent offense will be substantial. Predominant themes emerged from research with prosecutors, judges, victims, victim advocates, and probation officers; there was strong consensus among judges, prosecutors, victim advocates, and probation officers in support of the central tents of Arizona’s criminal-justice response to domestic violence. Support for the criminalization of domestic violence was nearly universal. Most criminal justice professionals said, however, that the system fails to achieve its goals. Victims and victim advocates consistently expressed disappointment with how well the system responded to victims’ needs; and victims expressed gratitude for the efforts of victim advocates, but tended to display frustration with judges’ and prosecutors’ actions and attitudes. The low level of victim involvement in prosecution was cited by all professionals as a key weakness in the system’s operation. Victim advocates stood out in their support for a victim-centered approach in the criminal justice system; a victim-centered approach would take more seriously a victim’s desire for justice as the victims see it, not necessarily only as the system does. Agreement was strong across the professional ranks on expanding training on domestic violence and tailoring it to each group’s roles and responsibilities. Many professionals were looking for more options to help Arizona reduce and prevent domestic violence. Other major findings are discussed from the viewpoints of the prosecutors, judges, victims, victim advocates, and probation officers. Recommendation and policy implications are also discussed. Tables, appendix
Main Term(s): Domestic assault; Female victims
Index Term(s): Arizona; Criminal justice evaluation; Criminal justice program evaluation; Criminal justice system effectiveness; Criminal justice system policy; Criminal justice system reform; State criminal justice systems; Victim services; Victim/Witness Advocates; Victims of violent crime; Violence prevention
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