​Exploring the effects of court dispositions on future domestic violence offending

Author(s) Pinchevsky, Gillian M.
Title Exploring the effects of court dispositions on future domestic violence offending: an analysis of two specialized domestic violence courts
Source Journal of Interpersonal Violence; 27 May 2015, online before print, p 1-23
Date 2015
Document type Journal article
CoverageUSA
Summary This study explores the magnitude and relationship between dispositions and recidivism within and cross two specialised domestic violence courts in a south-eastern state of America. The sample included 1,068 defendants in County A and 716 defendants in county B who had been arrested for misdemeanour DV and whose cases were disposed of in the two courts between 2004-2006. The dependent variables included the prevalence of DV, that is, whether the defendant was rearrested for DV within three years; the incidence of DV, that is the number of DV rearrests; and time-to-rearrest. Included in the independent variables were five types of dispositions: dismissed by the prosecutor; not convicted; convicted and mandated to attend a batterer treatment program; convicted and fined; and convicted and jailed. A key finding was that in both courts less than 20% of the defendants were rearrested for another DV offence within three years of case disposition. Also, among defendants who did reoffend within three years rearrest was delayed for more than one year. Recommendations for future research are included in the article including the need for a comprehensive examination of the range of possible court outcomes and the context of the court within which defendants are processed.
Keywords Specialised domestic violence courts; court dispositions; recidivism; intimate partner violence; batterer programs.
Topic Criminal justice system; domestic violence